When he was unveiled as Paris Saint-Germain manager in early July, Luis Enrique had select words for Neymar. He refused to assert that the Brazilian, at the time linked with a move abroad, would stay at the club. He admitted that he didn't know what the team would look like by the start of the season. He referenced the handful of other impressive attacking players the Parisians have. Ultimately he sent a message: PSG don't need Neymar.
But they just might want him. Kylian Mbappe's tenure as a PSG player seems to be coming to an end after he informed the club that he will not be signing a contract extension. Lionel Messi has already gone, an extended Floridian holiday coaxing the GOAT away from Europe.
So, only Neymar remains. The original member of the much-maligned superstar trio is alone once more, the spearhead of a project that, like a few years ago, seems full of untapped potential. Back then, it all went very wrong, very quickly. As other big names joined, Neymar's influence and reputation waned. There were injuries that were out of his control: ankle, metatarsal and adductor. But there were also self-inflicted wounds: wild parties and ill-advised holidays.
The five years since he joined PSG have felt like something of a waste, at least for Neymar the elite footballer. The singular goal of Neymar's Parisian move was one of personal glory. He wanted to run a team, and, ideally, win a Ballon d'Or doing so. On-field success, namely the Champions League, was perhaps a close second in his list of priorities.
But now, there's been something of a reset. Neymar has another chance to be the main man, and this time, the pressure is off. PSG aren't expected to bring European glory to Parc des Princes, nor will they be the centre of media attention — those eyes will likely be cast to Santiago Bernabeu when Mbappe makes his inevitable move to Real Madrid.
Instead, Neymar can operate with only one foot in the spotlight, the best player on an interesting, developing team. And perhaps it's that exact environment that the mercurial Brazilian needs to revive a career that seems to be fading.