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Luis Enrique backs Neymar through dry spell

SoccerNews in La Liga 20 Dec 2016

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says Neymar’s performances remain at their peak, despite the Brazilian’s flagging goal tally this season.

Neymar will head for a Christmas break with just six goals to his name from 18 appearances in all competitions in 2016-17, although he has provided 14 assists.

The Brazil captain has ended each of his past two seasons at Camp Nou with over 30 goals to his name.

Luis Enrique failed to guarantee his own Barcelona future beyond the end of the season, when his contract ends, but used a news conference to express happiness with Neymar’s long-term prospects.

“The truth is we have to look at other seasons, how many assists he made, because this season he’s created a lot of goals,” he said.

“I don’t think about how many he scores. For any of the forward players, it’s going to be a lot.

“At the end of the day I don’t think it’s important, a little detail like this.

“He’s a fundamental player for us, he helps in defence too and I’m very happy with how he’s playing.

“He’s ambitious and he wants to improve his stats but his performances have been at the top level as they were in the seasons before.”

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