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  •  January 2, 2020
Dani Olmo/Dinamo Zagreb

Neymar is a better player than Dani Olmo. Not just now, but probably always. The 27-year-old Brazilian is arguably one of the 50 greatest attackers to ever lace up a pair of boots, but as FC Barcelona enter the 2020s, Olmo may be the smarter choice.

Financial Reasons

It’s not the job of Culés to balance Barcelona’s books, but it’s pretty obvious that the club has had a few bad deals and need to hit on some transfers soon. Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembélé, and André Gomes are just some of the names that Barcelona didn’t get proper value on.

Neymar will score goals and could be the bridge between Lionel Messi and the next generation, but can he possibly live up to the incredible price tag that PSG will put on him? Neymar’s output will be compared to Messi’s production and while he’s obviously scoring at-will in Ligue 1, there should be skepticism that his injuries will allow him to be worth the more than 200 million euros that he will cost.

Olmo, meanwhile, may cost around 40 million euros – a number that should align with the production of the player.

Back to their Roots

The negative words from Adama Traoré about his Barcelona exit this week make it seem like former La Masia players wouldn’t want to return to Catalonia, but that isn’t the case for all players. Olmo seems to be happy with his six years in La Masia and appears receptive to a reunion, whether in January or the summer.

Olmo clearly took what he learned and applied it in Croatia enough to make himself a standout in the Champions League.

His performances against Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk were signs that he was ready for a return to Spain.

He hopes to make the Spain squad for Euro 2020, and so it’s understandable that the player is trying to make a high-profile move – now that Dinamo Zagreb is eliminated from the Champions League and didn’t qualify for the Europa League. Barcelona has spent major money recently on their own version of “Los Galácticos”, and maybe Antoine Griezmann should be the last in line for a bit.

Versatility

If Neymar were to return to the Camp Nou, he would step right back into his position on the left wing, creating a competition for the center forward spot between Griezmann and how ever many more years Luis Suárez wants to fight for his spot.

This could work and would mean that Dembélé is as good as gone, but it’s hard to know if that plan sets up Barcelona for success in the long run.

At 21-years-old, Olmo is just getting started and wouldn’t be expected to be a real star for at least three or four years. In the meantime, Olmo’s versatility could help him get on the field, much like Sergi Roberto. This season, he’s lined up for Dinamo Zagreb as a CAM (14), RW (1), CDM (1), SS (1), LW (1), and CM (1).

Final Thought

Neymar is the more talented player, but Barcelona will be paying for every single goal and assist from the Brazilian.

Olmo is one from the past and certainly one for the future. The Spaniard is best as a winger at the moment, but his ability to play in multiple positions and familiarity with Barcelona’s fundamentals could make for an easier transition than most new faces.

Tags:Adama TraoreBarca TransfersBarcelona transferDani OlmoDinamo ZagrebFC BarcelonaNeymar

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