NEYMAR JR of PSG during the French championship Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and SCO Angers on January 11, 2023 at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France

Neymar is made for Man Utd; here’s 8 minutes of him tearing PL defences apart

Manchester United are in active negotiations with PSG over a deal for Neymar, just in case you were wondering when transfer rumour silly season was going to kick into overdrive this year.

The worst part is, for such a completely absurd transfer rumour, the reality is that it isn’t even beyond the realms of possibility, with United’s transfer policy over the last decade perhaps the only thing equally as chaotic as Neymar coming to the Premier League in 2023.

If there was ever a club stupidly brave enough to try and pull off such a ridiculous stunt, it’s United. But strangely, it feels very peak Glazer ownership, Ed Woodward in the hot seat United, which the club was just starting to finally move away from.

But amid all the reasons to criticise the potential transfer and write it off as undoubtedly stupid, it would be fun to just entertain it for a moment. Go on, indulge in it. We dare you.

Be warned, though – once you do, you’ll be desperate to see it come to fruition.

Neymar has spent the better part of a decade now blossoming into one of the best – but also one of the most polarising – footballers on the planet.

For every ounce of mind-boggling skill and technique he possesses, is an equal dose of frustration in the form of injuries, inconsistencies or reported attitude issues.

When you’re that good at football and you set the world record transfer fee with a £200million transfer, though, having a chip on your shoulder is pretty understandable.

People love to criticise. And people really love to criticise Neymar. But those people are boring, because the Brazilian is truly one-of-a-kind in today’s iteration of the beautiful game.

In a time where systems and automatisms take priority, Neymar is able to thrive and hold his head above the water at the elite level, while still possessing an unrelenting flair that sets him apart from the rest. That is priceless.

Farmer’s league this, show off that, bore off. His numbers in front of goal have continually been exceptional and all while shouldering incredible expectations.

So why does a move to United seem like chaos? Well, he is now 31 years old and years of being hacked to bits by defenders have caught up in recent seasons, with injuries plaguing Neymar regularly.

Add that to the astronomical wages he’d cost and the ego he’d bring to a dressing room which Erik ten Hag continues to work miracles to correct, it’s an issue.

Despite the man already being very bald, trying to manage Neymar at United for a season would somehow make him even more bald.

But the upside could be terrifying. And for all of those saying he’s only ever done it against lesser opposition, the evidence suggests otherwise.

The vibes are immaculate. Neymar at his best with a ball at his feet is unmatched levels of cool. Don’t pretend otherwise.

Is an eight-minute compilation posted to the bird app definitive proof that he would arrive at Old Trafford and immediately assume John Cena levels of dominance and success? Absolutely not.

The reality is that United should probably steer clear of signing Neymar, purely with them needing to prioritise replenishing other areas of the squad.

But when a phenomenon becomes available, you have to strike while the iron is hot. And if United were to do that? Come on. You can’t blame them. Besides, it wouldn’t be the end of Glazer ownership if they didn’t bow out by sanctioning one final, absurd transfer decision.

Expectation and reality are two entirely different things. Reality suggests that Neymar heading to the Premier League as he approaches the autumn of his career is bad for all parties involved.

But the expectation is so high because, despite all the criticism, he is held in such high esteem. And for good reason.

While these days it is increasingly fleeting, Neymar at his best is monstrous. To think he wouldn’t be able to leave his mark on English football is obscene.

Life is too short to get wound up over footballers with flair. Way too short to be worrying about dressing room dynamics you can’t influence anyway. Enjoy it while you can.

Enjoy the fantasy of Neymar on the touchline in the Barclays while the rumour exists.

By Mitchell Wilks

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