PSG boss Thomas Tuchel may have claimed that Neymar could offer a lot more to the team, but the Brazilian could be rested for tonight’s game against Reims. Neymar has been crucial for PSG in the last couple of weeks after his latest strikes have helped beat Strasbourg and Lyon. Even though they have not helped redeem the 27-year-old in front of the PSG ultras, it has certainly endeared to the rest of the squad so much so that Thomas Meunier seems to have forgotten the incident.
Thomas Meunier claims that Neymar’s decision to play rebel in the summer was not wrong, as the forward was keen on a return back to Barcelona. Neymar was late to training on Tuesday, but Tuchel refused to be drawn into speculation. Speaking to Goal.com, Tuchel said:
“It’s not possible to pick the same players. I’m responsible for the team, we only have two days of rest.
“Then we play in Bordeaux, then in Istanbul [against Galatasaray in the Champions League] two days later, we cannot overuse the players.”
Neymar is indisputably one of the best players in the world, but he has felt the need to leave Parc des Princes owing to a number of factors like the inability to challenge for the Champions League honour and declining importance within the club following the arrival of Kylian Mbappe.
The absence of Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani has been well exploited by Neymar in the last two games. Even though PSG did pick up a handsome 3-0 win over Real Madrid even without the Brazilian, his importance was clearly shown in the last two French Ligue 1 outings.
Even then, Tuchel is prepared to drop Neymar for the crucial game against Reims. This is an important time for PSG with games coming thick and fast. The consistent run of fixtures coupled with an injury line-up that now includes Mauro Icardi means that Tuchel has to mix his cards. Icardi came to PSG only in the summer and he has featured in just 87 minutes for the team. However, he has picked up an injury that put him on the treatment table along with Cavani, Mbappe, Julian Draxler, and Thilo Kehrer. Meanwhile, Marco Verratti is suspended for the match.
Even though PSG fans have not forgotten Neymar’s antics in the summer, it appears that the squad is over this issue. According to Goal, Meunier said:
“He did what he had to do during pre-season. He didn’t make waves and even he is convinced he can still play a role at the club.”
There have been only a handful of players who have represented just one club throughout their career. Loyalty does not seem to take up much of the desk space in this world of commercialism when footballers earn multi-million dollars every year. In such a case, Neymar wanting to seek a transfer that would make him happy seems to have been completely understandable for his teammates at PSG. After all, there have been conflicting reports about Neymar’s happiness ever since he moved to the Parc des Princes in the summer of 2017.
Neymar frequently clashed with Edinson Cavani over penalty-taking duties and the arrival of Mbappe later served to decrease his importance in the squad. Now, however, the 27-year-old has clearly proven that he remains an invaluable asset within the squad. His match-winning goals against Strasbourg and Lyon have put PSG top of the table with a three-point advantage. It will be only a matter of time before Neymar wins over the supporters.