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Arsenal must make Varane statement

Arsenal
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Neymar ready to fill in for Messi - Alves

Dani Alves says Neymar is ready to step up to fill the gap left by the injured Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

Hunter: Turning point for Messi
Ledwith: Barca can cope
Media begins injury inquest

Neymar -- a 65 million euro summer signing from Santos in his native Brazil -- has settled quickly at the Camp Nou, but has often played a supporting role on the left wing and has more assists [eight] than goals [five] in his 17 games in a Barca shirt so far.

With Messi now sidelined until January 2014, the Brazilian starlet is being tipped to play a more central role in Barca’s attack. His teammate with club and country told Globoesporte that the 21-year-old had the qualities to do just that.

"Neymar is always ready," Alves said. "He knows how important he is for Barcelona. He is aware that he was signed for things like this.

"With Messi’s injury, someone must take on this role, and Neymar is ready. For his name, and his qualities, he will be this player. I am sure he will give a positive response."

On Tuesday, Neymar issued a statement via his official website to deny quotes attributed to him regarding Barcelona's plans for coping in Messi's absence.

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