Xavi Simons has been talked about for years now: when he was 16 and the face of a child, he left La Masía to join Paris Sain-Germain. He was not the only one to do it at that time, but he was certainly the most famous: because of his recognizable look, because of his professional partnership with Mino Raiola, because he had a lot of followers on Instagram – 1.7 million three years ago , now the numbers have more than doubled – and because he was considered one of the most promising talents not only in Barça’s cantera, but in European football as a whole. Here, this last promise was not fully kept: at PSG, in fact, Xavi Simons never managed to really impose himself, indeed he struggled even to get close to the first team, to the point of putting together just 11 games overall. in the last two seasons. None of these appearances have taken place in the Champions League, and in Ligue 1 he has only played once as a starter.
Perhaps it is because of this missed explosion that Xavi Simons and his entourage have decided to start over. And to do it in the Eredivisie, with PSV Eindhoven. At the announcement of the deal, many were surprised: the Dutch club, in fact, took over Simons’ card at no cost and outright, and the player signed a contract until 2027. Someone wrote that in reality it is a disguised loan, as PSG wanted to insert a repurchase clause – set at four million euros – in case it decides to buy back the player. Probably a wise move, as it seems that Simons’s time has finally come to get to know really his talents: in the first three league games with the new team, he put together four goals and two assists. No player of this century, it had had such a strong impact – at least from a numerical-statistical point of view – in the first three games played in the Eredivisie. To this count must also be added the goal scored in the Dutch Super Cup match, the Johan Cruijff Schaal, played against Ajax: replaced from the bench in place of Gakpo, Xavi Simons signed the point that set the result at 3-5 in favor of the Eindhoven team. At the end of the match, the new PSV coach – an old acquaintance of football fans: Ruud van Nistelrooij – raised the first trophy of his new career to the sky.
Xavi Simons has played as a starter – and has never left the pitch – in all three league games PSV has played so far. In the first, played at home against Emmen and won 4-1 by Van Nistelrooij’s team, he assisted for Johan Bakayoko’s goal. It was not a conventional assist: on the corner of the opponents spat out by the PSV defenders, Simons went to press high on an opponent and stole the ball, then he ate half the pitch in a few moments and served his teammate. after a nice dribble to return to a retreating Emmen player.
In the following two games, Simons scored as many braces: the first, against the Go Ahead Eagles (the match ended with the result of 2-5 for PSV), was also accompanied by an assist, and was realized thanks to a left-footed shot from inside the box and a precise right-hand diagonal on a tip-over action; the decisive pass, on the other hand, came directly from a corner kick and rewarded Obisco’s header. The second brace arrived again away, at Excelsior (also in this case PSV won with a wide score, 1-6): the first goal is the result of a right-footed shot from inside the goal area. rigor, the second instead comes at the end of a solitary progression in the open field.
The two goals and all the rest of his game
As can be seen clearly in this personal highlights video, Xavi Simons not only scored two goals: he also orchestrated and managed his team’s attacking actions, he always showed up in all areas of the pitch to receive and work the ball, in this sense he was not influenced by his virtual position on the pitch – left midfielder of a 4-3-3 – rather he was able to take and capitalize on the right freedom. Of course, perhaps this obvious technical overwhelming power can also be traced back to the low competitiveness – euphemism – of the Excelsior, to the fact that PSV, Ajax and Feyenoord exercise dominance that is often – indeed: almost always – embarrassing towards their opponents of Eredivisie. But there is no doubt that talent pure and Xavi Simons’ tactical readings are quite promising, they make you want to see him play in more difficult games, against stronger opponents. Maybe it’s time for him, PSV has understood it and is giving him the opportunity to prove it really. And he is taking advantage of this opportunity, and how.