Tactical Insights

PSG Wonderkid Xavi Simons Chooses FC Barcelona Return

Xavi Simons has decided to return to FC Barcelona on loan from Paris Saint-Germain according to Mundo Deportivo, which cited anonymous sources.

Simons joined Barca’s La Masia academy in 2010 and was one of its most talked up prospects across the next decade.

On the cusp of a new one, however, he fled to Paris Saint-Germain to finish his formation to becoming a professional in the French capital.

Over a five-year period from 2019 until now, however, Simons has made just seven senior Ligue 1 appearances for the Qatari backed giants.

He seems to have spent more time out of the club than in too, switching to PSV in the homeland of his parents the Netherlands – who he represents internationally – before PSG bought him back last year.

Rather than integrating Simons into Luis Enrique’s side which was knocked out of the Champions League semifinals by Borussia Dortmund this week, his parent club opted to send him out on loan to RB Leipzig elsewhere in the Bundesliga.

What the 21-year-old will do next term is currently unknown. Yet according to Mundo Deportivo, he has a special clause in his contract which means he can choose his next destination on loan.

The Catalan newspaper writes that this is FC Barcelona, which has caused Simons and his agent to demand a meeting with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to ensure that he will give the green light to the potential operation.

Simons is liked by Barca for not only being familiar with the club’s playing style, but also being a midfielder that arrives in the box – which is different to other center-of-the-park technicians such as Pedri, Ilkay Gundogan and Frenkie de Jong who often function as deeper playmakers.

Operating in this manner, like Fermin Lopez, has seen Simons score nine goals in 40 appearances for Leipzig, who gave Barca’s bitter rivals Real Madrid a tough time in the Champions League last 16 while many felt they were the better side of the tough defeat.

It now remains to be seen whether Al-Khelaifi wishes to do business with the Blaugrana, as relations between the European clubs are at a low point.

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