Arsenal, Liverpool and to a lesser extent Chelsea are all sizing up the Eredivisie’s top scorer who’d assume wildly different roles depending on who he joins, per a report.
The Gunners and Reds may adopt different approaches to the upcoming summer window. Arsenal are close to being the finished article and the January arrivals of Jakub Kiwior, Jorginho and Leandro Trossard added reliable depth.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are in desperate need of major surgery and no position is causing Jurgen Klopp as many headaches as central midfield.
To that end, Fabrizio Romano recently reported Liverpool could sanction up to five new signings this summer. However, with two or three of those coming in midfield, there’ll be scope to strengthen other positions too.
To that end, a report out of Spain (via Caught Offside), has revealed Liverpool are sizing up a player who could be the new iteration of Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian will leave Liverpool as a free agent at season’s end.
PSV Eindhoven’s Xavi Simons is that man in question, and the 19-year-old is currently the top scorer in the Netherlands.
Simons is ultra-versatile being capable of operating on either flank, as a 10 or false nine. The latter would be of greatest interest to Klopp and Liverpool, per the report.
Simons is the Eredivisie’s joint-top scorer with 14 strikes this term. However, like Firmino, there’s far more to his game than just goals.
Simons has laid on eight assists to his teammates in the Dutch top flight this year. All in all, his mark of 22 goal contributions in 28 appearances is truly incredible for a player who’s still a teenager.
The Dutch international is thriving in his first season at PSV following a permanent move from PSG last summer.
That deal reportedly contains a buy-back clause the Ligue 1 powerhouse can trigger this summer to the tune of just €12m. However, according to Fabrizio Romano, Simons has the final say on whether he’ll return to Paris if PSG do activate the option.
However, according to the Spanish report, Simons may have competing offers from England too.
Arsenal ‘convinced’ by Xavi Simons
Aside from Liverpool, it’s claimed Arsenal have been ‘monitoring and following the Dutch player for some time and seem convinced to make an offer.’
But while Liverpool seemingly view Simons as the heir apparent to Firmino, Arsenal would utilise him in a different role.
Gabriel Jesus is unmoveable up front, leading the Gunners to view Simons as competition for Martin Odegaard in an attacking midfield role. The fact Simons can also operate out wide would ensure he never lacks for positions he can play.
Arsenal have generally targeted players under the age of 25 since Edu got to grips with their recruitment strategy in recent years. Jorginho and Trossard were exceptions, though they weren’t Arsenal’s first choices either.
Moises Caicedo (21) and Mykhailo Mudryk (22) were favoured and bids were lodged in the winter window. However, Brighton refused to sell Caicedo mid-season at any price and Chelsea hijacked Arsenal’s move for Mudryk.
Chelsea are also mentioned as being in with a shout of landing Simons this summer. However, their anticipated total lack of European football next season is likely to see the Blues overlooked.
No transfer valuation is cited in the piece, though it stands to reason Simons would cost far more than PSG’s €12m option if available on the open market.
Very few 19-year-olds are putting up the type of numbers Simons is and as such, Transfermarkt list a valuation of €30m.