Netherlands: Xavi Simons, what's the problem?


By: Manu Tournoux

His name is clearly one of Paris Saint-Germain's options for the post-Mbappé era. At 20 years old, Xavi Simons will not be able to 100% replace the Bondynois, but if the capital club fought to buy him from PSV, it is not for nothing. The French champion immediately sent him to cut his teeth at RB Leipzig, a winning bet. With the German club, the attacking midfielder is a hit. Author of 9 goals and 13 assists in 36 matches, Simons confirms after his excellent 2022/2023 season with PSV (22 goals, 12 assists in 48 matches).

Unsurprisingly, Leipzig would like to keep him for one more season, or even buy him. But in Paris, the speech given is clear: Simons was loaned for a year without a purchase option and will return to the capital. Moreover, Luis Enrique recently confirmed that he appreciated the profile of the young Batavian. “Another player who belongs to the club. He's on loan and he's excellent. He has the perfect qualities for what we want. He could obviously be a very interesting option for us, but it depends on the clubs. However, Xavi Simons is not 100% happy. If he has a blast at club level, the Dutchman can't do it with his national team. In 12 appearances, the PSG player has not been decisive once. A frustrating problem for him, but also his coach.

Mute with the Oranje

Starting against Scotland last Friday, Simons saw the Oranje easily win 4 goals to 0. Except that the 20-year-old did not really participate in his team's offensive festival. Replaced in the 77th minute, Simons is not sure of starting this evening against Germany. And for good reason. His coach, Ronald Koeman, was not kind to him, without wanting to overwhelm him. “He was one of those players who lost the ball too often. Xavi took too many risks in his actions, he made things too complicated. He must gradually learn that we in the Netherlands do not benefit from losing the ball. (…) It’s really incredible that the Scots didn’t score. The Germans will do it”he declared, before concluding.

“You talk to him about the fact that with us he fights one hundred percent to have a good match and score a goal. But he's still a young player. If there is a player who wants to be good and important for the Dutch team, it is Xavi. One might wonder if he isn't putting too much pressure on himself. But we also talk about his position. In his club, he plays more on the left side, whereas he used to play on the right side. He's a guy who is quite critical of himself. He himself says that he has lost too many balls. It is not possible. In your own half, you must always remember to keep the ball. This is not where you should lose the ball. I expect him to develop in that direction, to know when to play and when not to play. » The message got through.

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