Neymar would only be a SQUAD PLAYER at Arsenal because of his woeful injury record, insists Darren Bent – and the ex-Tottenham striker claims the £198m PSG star ‘doesn’t walk into anyone’s starting XI’
- PSG star Neymar is set to undergo surgery following an injury to his right ankle
- He is set to be out for 3-4 months, and could have played his last game for PSG
- Darren Bent claims injuries mean Neymar no longer walks into any starting team
Darren Bent has boldly claimed Neymar would only be a squad player at Premier League title chasers Arsenal, with the former striker insisting the Brazilian comes with ‘baggage’.
Bent was asked on talkSPORT Drive about the Neymar’s future, amid reports PSG may opt to sell the Neymar at the end of the season.
The former Tottenham striker was then asked whether he would start him ahead of fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli at Arsenal.
Bent claimed he would prefer Martinelli due to Neymar’s current injury, with the 31-year-old set to miss the remainder of the campaign due to him facing an ankle operation.
The pundit then doubled down when asked who he would pick prior to the PSG’s star’s injury.
Darren Bent has claimed Neymar would be a squad player if he joined title chasing Arsenal
Bent told talkSPORT that Neymar’s injury issues meant he would not walk into anyone’s team
The former England striker claimed he would pick Gabriel Martinelli over Neymar
‘I like our squad now so I’m sticking with Martinelli,’ Bent said.
‘Neymar in his pomp is unbelievable, but there are just times where things don’t fit.
‘When you look at the games he’s played, he’s played 20, 17, 15, 18, 22 and 20 [matches], he’s always injured.
‘I know he’s world-class and I’d have him as a squad player but he doesn’t walk into anyone’s starting XI.
‘I’m not criticising his ability, honestly he’s phenomenal. His ability is frightening. Some of the things he can do with a football, wow. But he comes with a bit of baggage.
‘Look at what previous managers at PSG have said about working with him, he makes it incredibly difficult.’
Neymar has scored 118 goals in 173 games since joining PSG for £198million in 2017.
His six-year stay at PSG has been impacted by numerous injury problems, while the club have failed in their pursuit of a maiden Champions League title.
PSG suffered a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich on aggregate in the last-16, with Neymar having been absent from the second leg.
The French champions have been eliminated at the last-16 stage of the competition in five of the past seven seasons.
Neymar is set to miss the remainder of the season with the Brazilian suffering an ankle injury
Neymar’s PSG future is uncertain with French champions claimed to be considering a sale
Rumours regarding Neymar’s future have not gone away, having been linked with a move away from the club last summer.
Neymar ultimately stayed and has registered 13 goals and 11 assists in 20 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
His father added to the speculation when he claimed it was ‘entirely possible’ that his son would return to Brazil to play for Flamengo before backtracking during a podcast appearance in January.
Neymar is believed to want to stay in Paris and return ‘stronger’ from his injury – though club chief Luis Campos would reportedly be willing to let him leave this summer.
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