PSG dealt major transfer blow as wonderkid Xavi Simons joins PSV after last-gasp contract u-turn

Xavi Simons Paris Saint-Germain 2021-22Getty Images

Highly-rated wonderkid Xavi Simons has completed a permanent transfer to PSV after rejecting a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

Simons was all set to commit to fresh terms at Parc des Princes after breaking into the first-team picture in 2021-22, but had a last-minute change of heart.

PSV were expected to still sign the 19-year-old on loan, but the Eredivisie outfit have now confirmed that Simons has signed a five-year contract with the club and will officially join the club when his contract at PSG expires on Thursday.

Why did PSG want to keep Simons?

Simons has been regarded as an elite talent since his days in the Barcelona's famed La Masia academy, when he would regularly go viral due to his dribbling ability.

He left Spain to join PSG in the summer of 2019, and having made his professional debut during the 2020-21 campaign, he took his game to new levels last term.

Simons made nine first-team appearances for Mauricio Pochettino's side in 2021-22, while he was one of the outstanding players in the UEFA Youth League, scoring four goals and laying on six assists in just seven appearances in the prestigious Under-19s competition.

Contract issues have rumbled on throughout the season as Simons - who was twice named to the NXGN list of the world's best teenage footballers - looked for assurances over his future playing time, but a breakthrough looked to have been found during the closing weeks of the season.

It is PSV, though, who have been able to tempt the Dutch teenager back to his homeland, and the club's director of football affairs, John de Jong, expressed his delight after sealing Simons' signature.

“We have seen almost all the matches this season where he appeared," De Jong told PSV's official website. "Besides all the international matches he played for the Oranje squad, we saw him live in the Youth League in Leipzig, Paris, Bruges, Manchester and against Sevilla. 

"In this he convinced us. Xavi has everything to grow into an important player for PSV, and he would like to walk the path there with us.”

PSG's run of losing young talents goes on

While PSG may have a senior squad packed with global superstars, their record of bringing through players from their academy ranks into the first team continues to be poor.

Simons is the latest player to leave the club before truly making his mark at the Parc des Princes, with there plenty of examples of those who have gone onto bigger and better things elsewhere.

Kingsley Coman has become a key member of the all-conquering Bayern Munich side, and even scored the winning goal when the Bavarians beat PSG in the 2020 Champions League final.

Christopher Nkunku, meanwhile, was this season voted the Bundesliga Player of the Year, while Moussa Diaby has been playing a starring role for Bayer Leverkusen over the past couple of campaigns.

Centre-back Tanguy Nianzou also finds himself at Bayern after leaving Paris two years ago, and the German champions are said to be interested in the current PSG academy stars El Chadaille Bitshiabu - the Parisiens' youngest-ever player - Warren Zaire-Emery and Ayman Kari.

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