With the departures of Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr., Kylian Mbappé is the unquestioned superstar at Paris Saint-Germain, but there’s another player on the horizon who could replace him if the Frenchman decides to leave at the end of the season.
Mbappé’s contract expires on June 30, 2024, and there’s been no indication that he will sign a new contract, and the odds aren’t good that he will. Most reports indicate that the 24-year-old will bolt next summer for Real Madrid, and if that happens, PSG already has a succession plan in place.
Xavi Simons may not be a name that is as well known as Mbappé, but make no mistake about it, the Netherlands international is a special player. He came up through the FC Barcelona academy before leaving for PSG in 2019. Not realizing what they had, PSG let Simons leave in 2022 on a free transfer to PSV Eindhoven. Thankfully, PSG included a buyback clause, and after Simons led the Eredivisie in scoring, they activated that buyback clause before sending him back on loan to RB Leipzig this season.
As you can see, there’s been a lot of back-and-forth with Simons a lot of uncertainty as well from PSG. With him under contract at PSG until 2027, it’s time for PSG to finally sort out what they want to do with Simons, and in my opinion, that plan should be to slot him in the starting lineup on the left wing where Mbappé plays should he leave.
So far this season at Leipzig, Simons has already scored three goals and recorded four assists in seven Bundesliga appearances. He’ll also get a taste of the UEFA Champions League, where Leipzig is in a group with Manchester City, BSC Young Boys, and Red Star Belgrade. You have to like Leipzig’s chances of advancing to the knockout stage of the competition.
Simons will turn 21 next April and will return to PSG a seasoned footballer ready for the bright lights of Paris Saint-Germain. But recently, there’s been reports that perhaps Leipzig will try to extend his loan, or that Barcelona or Manchester City will submit a transfer fee to sign him. This is where PSG must be crystal clear in their decision-making. Xavi Simons isn’t available for any transfer fee, and no, Leipzig, he’s not staying for another season.
PSG needs Simons now. He’s had time to develop in other leagues and grow into one of the best young players in Europe. If Mbappé departs, PSG could very well become Simons’ team, and along with Randal Kolo Muani and Ousmane Dembele in attack, the club’s future could be very bright despite the loss of Mbappé.