Football News

Xavi Simons’ Haaland-esque exploits show why Man Utd and Borussia Dortmund ‘tried to sign him’

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 17:00, 22 September 2023

Xavi Simons has put to bed any concerns of his development stalling after joining RB Leipzig this summer.

The prodigious 20-year-old Dutch forward joined Marco Rose’s side from parent club Paris Saint-Germain signing a one-year loan deal.

It came on the back of spending last season at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven where he bagged 22 goals and registered 17 assists through 48 appearances in all competitions.

Prior to leaving for Eindhoven his parent club negotiated a buy-back clause which they’ve activated. He subsequently penned a new four-year contract at PSG but will spend the forthcoming months in Germany’s top division.

“The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in Europe and RB Leipzig are one of the best teams in the Bundesliga,” Xavi told Die Roten Bullen’s official website once the news became official. “Coming to Leipzig is the right step for me because RBL constantly show how to develop young players and be successful with them,” he added.

Some observers felt it may have been another step too soon feeling another Eredivisie campaign or two under his belt would be ideal. However, those concerns are currently unfounded with Xavi hitting the ground running in style.

The 34-time Dutch international has been directly involved in seven goals across his first four Bundesliga games (three goals and four assists), equalling the record since Opta started compiling the data in 2004/05 set by Paco Alcacer and Erling Haaland. Xavi netted for the third Bundesliga game in a row last time out against Augsburg.

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RB Leipzig head coach Rose recently compared Xavi to a young Kevin Kampl and previously said he “is practically a prototype of exactly what [RB Leipzig] want for our play. He enjoys chasing loose balls and going into challenges, while he transmits such great energy off and on the ball. He is a gifted footballer too.”

Xavi brought that form into the Champions League as RBL ran out 3-1 winners on the road at Swiss outfit Young Boys, a game that saw him complete no fewer than eight dribbles, which is one fewer than matchday one’s best such return belonging to former (and perhaps future) teammate Kylian Mbappé.

Leipizg’s are profiting from Xavi’s performances but it could have all been different with Manchester United or rivals Borussia Dortmund being the beneficiaries instead.

“In the summer Manchester United also considered Xavi Simons as an option,” claimed journalist Fabrizio Romano on his Youtube channel.

“They had some calls, Erik ten Hag was really keen on bringing Xavi Simons to Manchester United, but then Paris Saint-Germain triggered the buy-back clause they had with PSV Eindhoven. 6million Euros, incredible. And then they decided to send him on loan to Leipzig.

“But in case the player was going to stay at PSV Eindhoven and decided against the buy-clause, Manchester United were in pole position to bring Xavi Simons to Old Trafford this summer.”

Borussia Dortmund were close to signing him in the summer, too, reports Bild. However, a deal couldn’t be agreed with Paris Saint-Germain because the BVB insisted on a purchase option.


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