Although PSG have lost a footballer just when the club needed him most, the right decision has been made to operate on Neymar’s broken foot
In opting to miss the next two months of football by undergoing surgery for a foot injury, Neymar has made a tough decision, but the right one.
Nevertheless, the footballer’s preparations for the 2018 World Cup have suffered a major blow, with the Paris Saint Germain star picking up a serious injury in the Ligue Un classic against Marseille, on Sunday. The 26-year-old had to choose between an early return date at the expense of sacrificing an ideal recovery program, or undergoing a surgery which would rule him out for around two months, but would guarantee a safe outcome. And there is no doubt that he made the right decision.
The Brazilian suffered a sprained ankle and a fractured metatarsal, which meant that he was already ruled-out for the return leg against Real Madrid, in the Champions League. Any attempt to rush him back would have risked causing damage in the long-term, as was the case with Manuel Neuer who suffered from a similar injury at the start of the season, but decided to postpone surgery which resulted in aggravating the problem.
The decision of undergoing surgery is not only the ideal solution for the player’s participation in the World Cup, but it also the best possible measure to guarantee the safety of the PSG player for years to come.
The official doctor of Brazil’s national team, Rodrigo Lasmar, travelled to Paris where he held discussions with club members as well as the player and Neymar’s father, who happens to be his agent. PSG had the final word on the situation, as a contractual clause clearly states, and they settled on the solution which was seen as the ideal one from the national team’s point of view.
PSG will certainly miss Neymar over the next few weeks, but they can still count on a front-line of Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé, which is practically one of the best in Europe. Meanwhile, the injury means that Tite will have to find an alternative in this month’s friendly fixtures against Russia in Moscow and Germany in Berlin. The Brazil manager will have the opportunity to test his team without Neymar, foreseeing a potential scenario where his number one star-player misses-out on a decisive World Cup clash against a powerhouse, as was the case against Germany back in 2014. We all know how horribly wrong that went….
New Barcelona-man Philippe Coutinho is in theory the best alternative for the left-wing role. It is a function which he has occupied on numerous occasions throughout his career, both at Liverpool and with Brazil’s national team. However, in this case, it would mean that the ever-lasting dream of fans seeing him orchestrating Brazil’s midfield will have to wait for another time.
Other options could be Douglas Costa who is having an improved season with Juventus, or even Chelsea’s Willian who has shown on various occasions that he is more than capable of plying his trade on the left wing. A less popular option would be using Shakhtar captain Taison, who is probably better than most people think, albeit, far from being the player that the fans would hope to see.
The World Cup is on the horizon and Neymar’s absence comes as a big blow. His full-readiness for the event in Russia is still far from being guaranteed, but what is sure is that undergoing surgery was the best-case scenario we could have hoped for, following his severe injury.