Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has suggested that his side have benefited from Neymar’s summer exit as they are now defensively stronger as a unit.
The Brazilian contributed 105 goals in four seasons at Camp Nou before departing for Paris Saint-Germain in a record breaking £198m deal in August.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde has had to tinker slightly to compensate for the surprise loss of Neymar, often pairing Messi together with Luis Suarez in a front two.
Messi claims that the Catalan giants are arguably a more rounded outfit now compared to last season, though, having won 15 and drawn three of their last 18 matches.
Speaking to Marca, the 30-year-old said: “Neymar’s departure has caused the way we play to change. We lost a great deal of offensive potential but it favoured us in a defensive sense.
“Currently we are most well-armed in the middle of the field, we have more balance and that makes us stronger defensively.”
Barcelona have conceded just four goals in their opening 12 La Liga matches, while also scoring the most goals in the division.