It’s the mid-winter transfer window silly season in global soccer, with big names linked to moves to new environments and some old stalwarts popping up in new places. Last summer, Xavi Hernandez, a legendary central midfielder and captain for FC Barcelona, made just such a move by departing to play out the final years of his football career in Qatar. As soon as he left, questions were raised about how the Blaugrana could ever replace his skill, vision and passing accuracy.
Perhaps the answer will come from within. In fact, perhaps the answer is already playing for a Barcelona youth squad, is just 12 and has the rather promising moniker of Xavi.
The player we’re referring to is Xavi Simons, a prodigiously talented Dutch pipsqueak currently toiling away for Barcelona’s youth squads at La Masia, the team’s famed training academy. Simons has a bit of everything: Deft touch, perfect accuracy with the ball at his feet, a flashy hair-do and even the perfect name for the job.
Yes, he’s only 12, so he certainly won’t be expected to come through and make a difference for a few years, but the time for the next Xavi may be coming sooner than you think. That’s driven in part by the continual interest in the Dutch youngster from other clubs overseas, including England’s Chelsea.
Where Simons goes from here is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that he has the talent to be successful wherever he ends up.