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Simons arrived at Barcelona’s famed youth academy in 2010 from CD Thader and was widely tipped to be an important part of the club’s midfield in the post-Xavi and Iniesta era.
However, the 18-year-old Dutchman left the Camp Nou to sign for PSG in 2019 after failing to agree a contract with Barcelona.
Barcelona were willing to offer Simons a €100k-a-season deal and a promotion to their Juvenil A (Under-19s team), according to Goal in 2019.
Simons, who was previously linked with Chelsea and Real Madrid, has now reportedly shifted from midfield to a striker.
According to Diario AS, the PSG starlet has ‘gained body and strength’ since his time in the French capital and the Ligue 1 club have ‘a lot of faith in him in a position in which nobody thought they would see him.’
The Spanish newspaper pointed out that Simons was deployed as a centre-forward in PSG Under-19s’ 1-1 draw with Manchester City Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League in September.
Shea Charles opened the scoring for City U19s in the first half, but Simons pulled back a second-half equaliser from the spot-kick to secure a point against nine-men City.
Simons made his official debut for PSG back in February after he came off the bench to replace Julian Draxler in a 1-0 win over Caen in the Coupe de France.
The PSG player, who is under contract until 2022, marked his Ligue 1 debut in April after coming on as a substitute in his side’s 4-1 thumping of Strasbourg.
PSG head coach Mauricio Pochettino is an admirer of Simons and provided him with valuable experience by including him in the first-team’s training and pre-season tour in the summer.
Simons both played and scored in friendly matches against Le Mans and Chambly in July.
Speaking after Simons’ debut in the Coupe de France, Pochettino eased the high expectations that the Dutch talent would be the ‘next’ Xavi or Iniesta.
“He will not be Iniesta or Xavi, but he has the quality and imbalance to be able to develop a career in the first division,” he told Onda Cero’s El Transistor in February.
“He is still very young, but he has very good potential.”
Featured Image Credit: PA
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