We ‘signed’ Neymar for Chelsea in the summer transfer window and he guided them to stardom

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar is reportedly a summer transfer target for Chelsea amid the forthcoming £4.25billion takeover of Todd Boehly.

PSG are rumored to be ready to sell Neymar for the right price after Kylian Mbappe decided to extend his contract at the Parc de Princes. Thomas Tuchel mentored the Brazilian superstar during his tenure as PSG coach, reaching a Champions League final in his two years in the French capital and winning the Ligue 1 title twice.

Neymar finished the 2021/22 season with 13 goals and eight assists in all competitions, making 28 appearances for PSG in total. The 30-year-old has spoken in the past about a potential move to the Premier League, admitting he has “great mutual respect” for the Blues boss.

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So if Neymar were to make the surprise move to Chelsea in the summer, what impact could it have on Tuchel’s side? Could the Brazilian help the Blues win the Premier League?

We simulated the 2022/23 season with Neymar in the Chelsea squad and that’s what happened.

We ‘signed’ Neymar for Chelsea in July 2022

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to ensure that Neymar joins Chelsea at the start of the summer transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation. In addition to Neymar, players such as Antonio Rüdiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen also left the club.

Neymar stats from 2022/23 season with Chelsea
Neymar stats from 2022/23 season with Chelsea

Neymar became the Blues’ star player in his first season at the club under Thomas Tuchel, making 54 appearances in all competitions. The Brazilian, who started on the left side of the top three, was a major threat for Chelsea, recording 18 goals and 13 assists over the course of the season.

His best performances came in the Premier League, where the 30-year-old finished the season as the league’s fourth top scorer. Neymar has scored 15 goals and provided seven assists in 37 appearances, giving him an average rating of 7.16 per game.

Chelsea's top scorers of the 2022/23 season
Chelsea’s top scorers of the 2022/23 season

Compared to the rest of the Chelsea squad, Neymar finished the season as the second-top scorer and recorded the most assists. Kai Havertz scored 26 goals in all competitions, including 19 in the Premier League.

Romelu Lukaku netted 14 goals, mostly off the bench, while Mason Mount and Matteo Kovacic both scored in double figures for the season. The latter had an incredible season, averaging the highest rating per game on the Blues roster.

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Football Manager 2022 put together a best overall Chelsea XI based on performances, statistics and other metrics. Here’s what Chelsea’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2022-23 season, as predicted by Football Manager 2022:

Chelsea's best XI of 2022/23 with Neymar
Chelsea’s best XI of 2022/23 with Neymar

Full Best Chelsea XI (5-2-2-1): Mendy; James, Chalobah, Silva, Bastoni, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante; Berg, Neymar; Havertz.

Along with Neymar’s arrival, Chelsea signed Alessandro Bastoni from Inter Milan to fill the gap left by Antonio Rudiger. Trevor Chalobah became a regular in defence, while Kovacic and N’Golo Kante were the top choices in midfield ahead of Conor Gallagher and Jorginho.

Mount joined Neymar behind Havertz, with Lukaku playing second fiddle to the German. Timo Werner saw limited playing time while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech rotated in and out of the side.

How have the Blues fared in league and cup competitions after signing Neymar in the summer transfer window? Let’s take a look.

Chelsea’s results from the 2022-23 simulation:

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League with Neymar in the team, level on points with Liverpool in fourth. Man City won the league and finished the whole season 20 points clear of second-place Man United, losing just one game.

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League
Chelsea finished third in the Premier League

The Blues have lost just three games all season, but they’ve drawn 16 of their 38 games, which is ultimately the reason they haven’t been in a title challenge. Chelsea had the second-best defensive record in the league, but they scored 20 fewer goals than Man City as they finished the season as the league’s third-best goalscorer.

Chelsea won a trophy in the 2022/23 season
Chelsea won a trophy in the 2022/23 season

Although not challenging for the Premier League, the Blues have been strong in the cup competitions, reaching the final of every cup. Tuchel’s side reached the FA Cup final for the fourth straight season, beating West Ham United 1-0.

The Blues beat Man City and Liverpool to reach the Carabao Cup final but lost 2-1 to Arsenal. And the Blues reached the UEFA Champions League final, a repeat of the Blues’ success of 2012, but a 1-0 defeat lifted the trophy for Bayern Munich.

Overall, this Football Manager sim predicts that the Brazilian could be a prominent influence if Chelsea were to sign Neymar ahead of the 2022/23 season, quickly becoming one of the Blues’ key players and helping Tuchel’s side to three cup finals and one cup. But Neymar wouldn’t come cheap and at 30 there could be other options on the market that might work better in the long term.

Would you like to see Neymar sign? for Chelsea this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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