With news breaking early this morning that Barcelona forward Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra and will play no further part in the World cup. Brazil will have to look for an alternative to their four goal talisman in order to continue what has already been a strong campaign.
With Oscar and Hulk assured of starting positions, the players vying to be Neymar’s replacements are
The Chelsea winger brings pace and directness to the field of play but lacks the fluidity and finesse that Neymar brings to the table, whilst the former Shaktar man is full of energy and running, he simply cannot match Neymar’s ability to do the extraordinary. And while Neymar can come central and cause a lot of damage, Willian prefers to stay out wide and play diagonally as an inside forward. Willian’s passing range is good but his decision making is questionable. Willian however provides more defensive cover for his full back than Neymar does and that is something the Brazilians need going into the clash wit Germany.
In more ways than one, the Shaktar wide man is much like Neymar, pacey, skillful, direct and all about drive. Bernard however lacks the end product that Neymar can bring to the pitch. His shooting most times leaves much to be desired and his ability to pick the right pass is questionable and his passing range is not anywhere near Neymar’s. If however the game is played around the more creative Oscar, Bernard could be a great wide outlet.
All pace, all drive all energy. Ramires is capable of playing on the right flank but he lacks the skill, vision, passing range and shooting ability any of the other forwards posses. What he lacks in fluidity however, he makes up for in drive. Ramires has the energy and desire to continue barreling down the right touchline for 120 minutes withouth stopping, capable of assisting his full back, hassling defenders and causing massive mix up in the opposition’s eighteen yard box, Ramires is the perfect “English winger” all drive, the extra man in attack, it isn’t worth nothing that Ramires has a knack for coming up with important goals when they are needed
Brazil’s final option is throwing on Jo or pushing Hulk more central to pair Fred in front and play with four midfielders behind them they can either go with two central and two wide or three central and one behind the two forwards and with Hernanes, Paulinho, Gustavo, Fernandino and Ramires all capable of playing central roles and Oscar, Willian, Hulk and Bernard all capable of playing wide and behind the strikers, they certainly have the depth in their squad to replace Neymar.