Xavi Simons: Why this Dutch World Beater is a no-brainer for Van Gaal’s World Cup squad

Xavi Simons has arrived!

Xavi Simons: Why this Dutch World Beater is a no-brainer for Van Gaal’s World Cup squad

Xavi Simons has arrived!
Web Stories

Xavi Simons, in a just world, will be strutting his stuff in Qatar next month. Simons recently made his debut for the Netherlands U21 side but a place in the full squad for Qatar next month is in sight for the former Barcelona and PSG talent.

There’s already been a shortage of Panini stickers in Argentina, forcing the government to step in and increase the supply of the coveted rectangles.

And there’s also been a glut of injuries ruling elite players out of participating in Qatar; Diogo Jota, Reece James & N’Golo Kante have joined Paolo Dybala on the sidelines in the last week alone.

The 19-year-old, Xavi Simons has eight goals for PSV in the Eredivisie this season and he admitted after scoring twice against Utrecht on Sunday that he was dreaming of playing in next month’s festival of football.

Xavi Simons: Underlying Stats:

Simons was highly-rated at both PSG and Barcelona, but at PSV, he’s been given the time and patience to show it, and he’s thriving with some fine players around him.

Forming a creative triumvirate with Cody Gakpo and Joey Veerman, Simons has only gotten better, and while there were high hopes for Simons’ career, there were few suggestions he’d be this good this quickly.

At PSV, Simons has proven to be a huge goal threat as his intelligent movement and the ability to get into good attacking areas has been well-understood by his team-mates, contributing to his fine start to the season.

Additionally, it helps massively that he’s great on the ball, as evident by his ability to drive forward with it, averaging 3.41 progressive carries per 90 in the Eredivisie this season.

Simons has had a hand in 14 goals across all competitions this season (10 goals and four assists), which is more than any player under the age of 21 across Europe’s top six leagues this season.

He’s also the only teenager to be involved in over 10 goals in Europe’s top seven leagues this season, showing how important he is to Ruud van Nistelrooy’s team.

To put that into context, Simons has already had a hand in more goals this season than Antony did last season for Ajax, and he earned the summer’s biggest transfer to Manchester United.

There are strong calls for Louis van Gaal to take Simons to the World Cup in Qatar this winter, and judging by how the player has started the campaign, those calls are justified.

Simons has proven to be a huge goal threat as his intelligent movement and the ability to get into good attacking areas have been well-understood by his team-mates, contributing to his fine start to the season.

It was immediately apparent that Simons would dissect Eredivisie defences with the expert precision of a scientist dismembering a dead frog. Against Ajax in the Johan Cruyff Shield, with PSV leading 4-3, the youngster received the ball in the opposition penalty area and motored forward.

Playing a one-two that left the Ajax defence more helpless than the poor under a Tory government, Simons rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball home in the same moment. The starboy had announced his arrival with aplomb.

And the goals have kept coming. While Simons isn’t necessarily the quickest or most athletic player, he’s able to make the most intelligent lateral runs to outfox defenders and make him a very slippery customer to handle.

Utrecht were the latest victims of Simons’ prodigious talents. The La Masia product had already scored and provided an assist before beating the opposition’s offside trap with an expertly timed run.

Don’t listen to the pessimists who’ll tell you Simons failed to convert the one-on-one chance; the vast majority of players wouldn’t have been able to envisage the potential opportunity, never mind creating it for themselves.

Besides, he scored the rebound anyway. No wonder he’s the only teenager to be involved in over 10 goals in Europe’s top seven leagues this season.

To put that statistic into context, Simons has already had a hand in more goals this season than Antony did last season for Ajax, and he earned the summer’s biggest transfer to Manchester United. The boy is dripping with potential.

What did Xavi Simons say?

It’s no surprise that PSG, who have included a buy-back clause in Simons’ contract, are reportedly interested in bringing him back to France next summer.

“There’s a clause in my contract: if I want to go to PSG at the end of the season, I can do that for a certain amount,” Simons recently said to GFFN. Real Madrid are also rumoured to be circling with intent.

“To be honest, it’s not in my head to leave PSV,” he continued. “I feel good here and I’ve just settled in. I think you can see that on the field.”

Whatever the future holds for Xavi Simons at club level, it’s patently clear that he should be on the plane to Qatar. Louis van Gaal is a manager that always entrusted youth provided they are talented enough and Simons surely fits the bill.

The Dutch squad is already a talented one, although perhaps not on the same level as Brazil and France, but the inclusion of Simons could be a game-changer.

International matches are often tight affairs decided by a moment of individual brilliance. With that, and the element of surprise he’d possess against World Cup defences, the decision to put Simons on the plane is arguably the easiest of Van Gaal’s career.

Share On

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Recent News

SportzPoint Sign Up
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles, news and offers!

Top 5 Most Dismissals by a wicket-keeper Top 5 wicket-takers in U19 Women’s T20 World Cup Top 5 run-getters in U19 Women’s T20 World Cup Murali Vijay Announced his Retirement Australia Open Last Champions (Men and Women) Most Grand Slam Titles (Men) Virat Kohli vs Sachin Tendulkar at 34 Most runs for India in T20I (Men’s) Most ATP Singles Titles | Open Era ICC Emerging Player of the Year