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‘He trusted’ – Ruud van Nistelrooy dropped incredible endorsement for £85m Man Utd-linked player, he was blown away by his ‘maturity’

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Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has admitted that he was deeply impressed by the “very mature” character of a player he managed in his career.

Ruud van Nistelrooy took his first steps into the world of management after he became the head coach of PSV Eindhoven in 2022.

The 47-year-old former Manchester United and Netherlands striker impressed in his first – and only – season as PSV Eindhoven manager.

Van Nistelrooy successfully led his former club to the Dutch Cup, but the United legend fell short of lifting the Eredivisie title in the 2022-23 season.

The Dutchman’s PSV side finished seven points behind Feyenoord, who were managed by Liverpool boss Arne Slot at the time, in the Eredivisie title race.

However, Van Nistelrooy did not see out the entirety of the 2022-23 season after the United legend left PSV before the club’s final match of the season.

The former United and Real Madrid star stepped down from his role at PSV due to a lack of support from within the club.

Van Nistelrooy has been out of management since his spell with the Eredivisie club, but the former PSV boss has been heavily linked with one team in recent weeks.

READ MORE: Man Utd legend Ruud van Nistelrooy ‘learned so much’ from world-class manager after receiving personal ‘invitation’

Ruud Van Nistelrooy during Joaquin Sanchez Tribute Match at Estadio Benito Villamarin on June 06, 2023 in Seville, Spain.

Photo by Jose Luis Contreras/DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Van Nistelrooy impressed by Man Utd target

Speaking to the Coaches’ Voice, Ruud van Nistelrooy opened up about his time with PSV Eindhoven, his insight as a manager and his experience as a player.

Van Nistelrooy recalled how he was able to “sign one or two players” during his time at PSV and how he crossed paths with the highly rated Xavi Simons.

Xavi Simons was snapped up by PSV in 2022 after the Dutch club agreed a deal with Paris Saint-Germain, with the French side including a reported €6m buy-back clause.

The 21-year-old attacker, who was on loan at RB Leipzig last season, scored an impressive 22 times and picked up 12 assists in 48 appearances for PSV.

However, Simons’ spell lasted only one season at PSV after Ligue 1 outfit PSG triggered his buy-back clause in 2023 and brought him back to the club.

Speaking about the PSG player, Van Nistelrooy said: “We were able to sign one or two players, and of course players who are available on a free are always welcome in difficult economic times.

“One of those was Xavi Simons (above) [sic], and the scouts at the club did a tremendous job in convincing me to take a look at him. I studied the clips they were giving me, and I was convinced immediately. So I spoke to him, and I remember well the video call we had.

I made a presentation about his qualities and the things, in my opinion, he could improve.

“My gut was that I was going to tell him what I really thought of him as a player in that moment, and then explain the potential of where he could get to, and how we were going to help him do that – through training sessions and individual coaching, but also based on the team.”

READ MORE: Ruud van Nistelrooy finally reveals ‘most important thing’ he learned from two legendary figures, it transformed him

Van Nistelrooy talks Simons’ maturity

According to TNT Sports, The Sun reports that United have been heavily linked with Xavi Simons amid the club’s pursuit of a new creative playmaker.

However, PSG are expected to fend off interest for the Netherlands international and have slapped a hefty £85m price tag on Simons.

Van Nistelrooy revealed that he found Simons to be “very mature” for his age and hailed the “unbelievable” 2022-23 season that he had for club and country.

The United legend continued: “Xavi was very mature in his conversation with me, and it worked because he was bothered only about one thing: ‘Where can I improve?’

“He was triggered by improving and learning, and that’s where we made the connection.

“He trusted the plan, and the process, and in the end he had an unbelievable year – he was joint top-scorer in the Eredivisie, made his debut for Holland and went to the World Cup.

“What he achieved that season was unthinkable, really, but it was all to his credit.”

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