Chelsea youngster gets high praise after long-awaited Hull City debut

The youngster delivered a polished display in the centre of midfield at the weekend

Liam Rosenior believes the performance of Xavi Simons against Preston North End on Saturday gave a perfect glimpse as to why Hull City were so keen to make his loan move from Chelsea permanent.

Simons was signed on a season-long loan on the final day of the summer window, and Rosenior spent a significant amount of time trying to make the deal permanent on deadline day last month, only to run out of time.

However, the terms of the deal both with Chelsea and the player have been ironed out and it will be made official once the summer window opens.

And after waiting for 32 Championship games to make his full league debut for the Tigers, Simons was handed a first start on Saturday owing to the injury sustained in the build-up to the game by Jean Michael Seri and delivered a terrific performance.

Simons, who turned 20 on Monday, impressed throughout and will likely keep his place in the midfield engine room at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.

He showed why (we’ve tried so hard to sign him). In the background, Xavi’s training levels since I’ve been in, his learning, his improvement has been massive. It’s really hard to get that across (to the fans) when you don’t see a player every day in training,” the City boss told Hull Live.

“We worked so hard, myself Beri (Pardo), Tan (Kesler) and the coaching staff to try to convince him that this was the right club for Xavi, and I’m delighted that he’s decided to be here long term.

“It’s difficult because I’m saying what a good player I think he is and how much better he can be, but he hasn’t had the chance to show it, but he showed it (against Preston) – he played the game like I expected, like an experienced pro.

“For a midfield player to play against Preston like that at 19 years old, it was absolutely outstanding but I expect that from him because I think he’s going to be a top player.”