Arsenal given incentive to hijack PSG transfer as Mikel Arteta seeks dream Bukayo Saka rival

Xavi Simons could be the perfect option for Arsenal's attack this summer
Xavi Simons could be the perfect option for Arsenal's attack this summer -Credit:Alex Grimm/Getty Images

The idea that Xavi Simons would be on the market for Arsenal this summer appeared unlikely with his parent club PSG landing him for a low buy-back price last summer before he joined RB Leipzig on loan for the forthcoming campaign. However, according to RMC Sport, Simons is not expected to return to France when his loan in Germany ends.

The Dutch international is thought not to be motivated to play for the Parisiens next season and instead, negotiations with Leipzig have already taken place over a permanent move. There is also said to be interest from Premier League sides.

It would be, in my view, a no-brainer for Arsenal to make a move for Simons who would offer the competitivity that they have been searching for in the wide positions. Arsenal have been reliant upon Bukayo Saka to start the bulk of matches on the right with little in the way of depth for the position.

However, Simons has performed excellently on both flanks for Leipzig this season. 21 games on the left and 18 games on the right with a couple in a central attacking midfield role have seen him collect nine goals and add a further 15 assists at the age of 21.

However, in the 18 matches on the right he delivered five goals and five assists showcasing a greater output when playing on the same side as Saka. The numbers get only more impressive the deeper you go.

According to FBRef, Simons ranks in the 93rd percentile of assists per 90 (0.37) across Europe’s top five leagues for players in the attacking midfield and wide positions. Unsurprisingly then he ranks in the 96th percentile for shot-creating actions per 90 (6.09) and the 99th for carries per 90 (4.33) into the final third.

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Arteta wants his forwards to work backwards as well and Simons has produced some impressive numbers in this regard also. He is in the 94th percentile (5.87) for ball recoveries per 90, 88th (2.53) for fouls drawn per 90 and 67th (0.54) for interceptions per 90 and has not made an error leading to an opposition goal all season.

There is area for development for sure but at 21 years of age, this is hardly a surprise. With Arsenal having seen success at centre-forward with Kai Havertz the emphasis on investment has switched more so to a wider player and Simons would fulfil this perfectly.

Regarding a potential transfer fee, little has been said about what PSG would be looking for but Simons is considered one of the top talents for his position and therefore will not be coming cheaply. Considering fees paid for the likes of Mykhailo Mudryk, Antony and Jeremy Doku in recent seasons the Gunners will likely be expected to pay a sizeable sum but the numbers and potential suggest he would be worth it.