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Xavi Simons is on his way back to Paris Saint-Germain after a breakout 2022-23 season with PSV Eindhoven convinced the French champions to activate their option to bring him back this month. The 20-year-old has left the Dutch giants' preseason camp in Austria after PSG actioned a clause as low as $6.7 million and Simons is expected to join RB Leipzig on loan with no option to buy shortly.

Now a senior Netherlands international after just 12 months away, the Ligue 1 titleholders were wary of the risk of letting Simons go and sought to protect themselves by agreeing a set recall fee. The wonderkid exploded with PSV as many expected he would and the Boeren were unlikely to be able to keep him at Philips Stadion this summer regardless of PSG's position and Peter Bosz's arrival.

Simons' 19 Eredivisie goals was level best with Anastasios Douvikas of Utrecht as the Dutch topflight's best tally while the Amsterdam-born talent also added eight league assists. Factor in one goal and another assist in the UEFA Europa League as well as a KNVB cup strike too and Simon's stint in Eindhoven under Ruud van Nistelrooy can be considered extremely productive.

It is easy to see why the former Barcelona youth academy prospect was so keen to finally get regular senior minutes and little surprise that international recognition came in late 2022. Simons might be familiar to United States men's national team fans as he made his Oranje debut against the U.S. in the FIFA 2022 World Cup round of 16 as the Netherlands won 3-1 in Al Rayyan.

PSG knew that they had picked up a special talent from Barca back in 2019 but then head coach Mauricio Pochettino and former sporting director Leonardo failed to provide adequate minutes. By the time Luis Campos came in as sporting advisor and replaced the Brazilian, the Portuguese knew Simons' massive potential and need for game time so salvaged the situation with a return clause.

Just twelve months on and the versatile attacking midfielder returns to Paris having majorly enhanced his attributes and experience for what PSG should consider a bargain buy back fee. RB Leipzig should be his next stop for another season away but his long-term future lies with the French giants who now have a clearer vision of how they want to build for the years ahead.

Although Kylian Mbappe and Neymar remain ahead of Simons in the current attacking pecking order, there is no guarantee that either superstar name will be at Parc des Princes long-term. Luis Enrique has come in as head coach and is expected to construct a new-look PSG which could resemble the ex-Barca boss' recent Spain setup and the Dutch talent is part of that vision.

If the Ligue 1 giants were confident of moving on the Brazil international this summer then Simons might have been persuaded to stay but there is no guarantee that Neymar moves on just yet. Les Parisiens are also keen to hold on to their talisman and France captain Mbappe so one season at a more challenging level than with PSV should aid uninterrupted development.

"I saw it coming, but of course it is still a shame," said Bosz of Simons' decision to action his option to return to PSG from PSV this summer. "The club informed me that this could be coming. It remains a pity, yes. PSV has absolutely done its best and I have tried everything. But that boy is of course within his rights -- he had that clause in his contract and he made use of it."

PSG successfully bringing Simons back and actively building for the future with him in mind, to ensure that he returns capable of being a star of the future indicates that changes are being attempted. It is certainly a work in progress under Campos and there are many questions over this summer's prolific recruitment drive, but we will only know the verdict during this coming season.

Locking in a talent of Simons' potential for the future suggests that PSG are finally working out ways to harness the potential of their best young prospects without losing them for free. However, it can only become established practice if he returns to eventually play a key role for the club and others follow suit which is not yet the case with El Chadaille Bitshiabu the latest academy talent to depart.