FC Barcelona: Three Ways Blaugrana could lineup if they land both Neymar and Antoine Griezmann
After a humiliating exit in the semi-final stage of UEFA Champions League last season, Barcelona would surely be looking to dive right into the transfer market again. Looking to secure the signings of the elite class of players to take them back to the European summit, they've already bought the Ajax wonderkid Frenkie de Jong for a good £65 million, before the start of the transfer season.
However, it's the surprising reports coming out of France that Brazilian Superstar Neymar is angling for a return to the Catalonian capital and has a verbally agreed for the same. Previously, the trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar (MSN) were devastatingly good for Barcelona - contributing to an insane 346 goals and 173 assists in 450 games. Barca's last Champions League win, A TREBLE in 2014, coincided with the trio's best form. The trident could soon be back together - with Barcelona having a verbal agreement for a five year deal and Neymar publicly admitting to 'having a made a mistake by moving to PSG'.
BUT, at the same time, there are various reports stating that Barcelona are going to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid on July 1, when the Frenchman's release clause of £107 million comes into effect. There have been long periods of courtship between the two, but with Griezmann publicly stating his departure in a video, it is all but certain that he's going to move to Barcelona.
In the rare event that Barca manage to get hold of the 2 aforementioned players, it may lead to an exodus of players (Hello FFP Regulations!!!!), with Phillipe Coutinho, Malcolm, KP Boateng and Ousmane Dembele being shown the door. However, this would definitely be the better deal for club in any sense.
Here are three formations in which Barcelona could lineup with the acquisition of Neymar and Antoine -
#1 4-3-3 Formation
The first suggestion is for them to play their traditional 4-3-3 formation, with the defense and goalkeeping duties remaining the same. Manager Ernesto Valverde may initially bench Frenkie de Jong for him to adapt to the Spanish game and start with his preferred midfield 3 of Arthur, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. However, it is expected that later in the season, Frenkie de Jong may come in the place of Ivan Rakitic - to partner Arthur and Sergio Busquets. The full-back pairing of Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto are widely expected to retain their roles in the setup.
However, in the front three, Suarez is dropped to the bench (owing to his decline over the past couple of years!), and Neymar taking his preferred Left Wing position. Neymar has been phenomenal playing on the left wing in France & Spain, with his playmaking skills at its best. Antoine Griezmann plays as the number nine - a position where he has been the most prolific (giving his highest goal return for the season - 32 in 2015/16). Lionel Messi returns to his preferred Right Wing position - a position from where he's been scoring and assisting atleast 50 goals for almost a decade now. This would allow him to dictate the plays and help his team prosper.