What if: Chelsea manages to land the duo of Ronaldo and Neymar together?

The context

This article explores the possibility of Ronaldo and Neymar playing together for Chelsea. A few days ago, the footballing world was shocked by reports of Neymar leaving PSG. It was later revealed that PSG are considering a loan move for the player they bought for €222 million in the summer of 2017. Neymar’s current contract expires in 2025 and his huge wages mean only a loan move seems a realistic possibility.


Contrary to Neymar’s situation, Ronaldo leaving Manchester United always seemed a possibility. He is 37 and despite being United’s top scorer his contributions were not valued by everybody. Even at this phase of his career, he craves Champions League football and that played a part in him formally requesting an exit.

The excitement

There were numerous reports that Chelsea was the only possible destination for Neymar if PSG decide to loan him. The prospect of him playing in the Premier League has intrigued many as it always seemed like a distant dream. But the excitement reached another level when Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes met with Chelsea’s co-owner Todd Boehly. 


Neymar and Ronaldo wearing the blue and combining for goals is the stuff of dreams for Chelsea fans. Both of them are global superstars despite being past their physical peak. Neymar has also previously stated his desire to play alongside Ronaldo one day, which gives all the more reason to get excited.

Why it can happen

PSG received a lot of backlash last summer when they signed Messi and re-united him with Neymar. The reason being their huge wage bill which is way beyond Ligue One standards. Chelsea is not as rich as PSG but there are reasons why they can sign Ronaldo and Neymar this summer. Premier League is the most cash-rich league in the world and this means few can question the amount of money paid as wages.

Also, the departure of Lukaku has opened up a considerable free space in the wage bill. Realistically speaking, Neymar and Ronaldo cannot be signed on permanent deals in a single window. But since the rumors are only about PSG releasing Neymar on-loan, Chelsea can afford both him and Ronaldo. Another advantage for Chelsea is the fact that Neymar’s huge wages means PSG will most definitely agree to pay a part of it.


Why it cannot happen

Tuchel gave a smart answer when asked about Ronaldo’s departure from Juventus a year ago. He believes Ronaldo is one of the greatest to play the game but “you can win trophies without superstars too”. The Chelsea coach is notorious for his no-nonsense approach as evident by his handling of Lukaku the past season. He has already managed two huge superstars in Neymar and Mbappe at PSG but that stint did not end well.

Tactically, Tuchel’s system will suffer if he plays two forwards who do not press up front. It will also hinder the development of youngsters such as Havertz, Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi. The bigger problem is perhaps the fact that there is no evidence that Ronaldo and Neymar can play well together. Neymar’s injury history is a big issue and any club will think twice before signing him at 30.

Age is a factor for Ronaldo too. Only Son and Salah scored more league goals than Ronaldo last season, very impressive numbers for a 37-year old. But it was also the first time since 2009 that Ronaldo had not scored 18 league goals. His contributions are declining and Chelsea need to analyze well before committing huge wages to a superstar


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