Youri Tielemans to Arsenal felt completed before negotiations had even been set in motion. With the player set on a move and the buying club in need of a box-to-box, creative midfielder, the only asterisk came with the Gunners’ inability to qualify for the Champions League.
The latter was Tielemans’ solitary demand if he were to leave Leicester City, who he has enjoyed a fairy-tale 3 years with since making his six-month loan from Monaco permanent.
Speaking while away on international duty earlier this month, he sought to neither confirm nor deny rumours of a transfer.
“That [a move] is not out of the question. But I can also stay,” Tielemans stated.
“I feel very good at Leicester, I was welcomed with open arms from day one. I give everything for the club until the last day.
“But of course you have to listen to other opportunities, you have to look at your career, and sometimes you have to make choices. Maybe one will come my way.”
Via: Express Sport
Ahead of the summer transfer window, the 25-year-old appeared to hold all the cards and was in a position to play off his current employers and potential suitors.
However, a lack of options has left him in limbo and have seen the roles reverse somewhat. Speculation surrounding Arsenal’s supposed interest has been a constant, but an opening bid hasn’t arrived.
Arsenal are still working on Youri Tielemans deal with Leicester waiting for an official proposal, while Fábio Vieira deal will be signed in the coming hours. ⚪️🔴 #AFC
Vieira has accepted a five year deal, Porto receive €35m plus add-ons. Release clause won’t be activated.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 17, 2022
How Fabio Vieira may have impacted Youri Tielemans’ transfer
The announcement of Fabio Vieira’s switch to the Emirates planted seeds of doubt regarding Tielemans’ signing with the focus of Arsenal’s business known to be spanning further than the centre of the pitch.
At a fee of €35m plus €5m in add-ons – near to the price required to secure Tielemans – a debate ensued whether the Porto midfielder’s acquisition was in place of the aforesaid.
Both players are defined as playmakers, but the similarities start and end there. Vieira ghosts into advanced positions and picks up space between the lines whereas Tielemans prefers to play with the game in front of him.
It is unlikely both were categorised in the same shortlist, but Vieira’s arrival has appeared to have a knock-on effect.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta may side with Albert Lokonga over a new midfield signing and look to invest the funds saved into higher priority positions such as a striker – namely Gabriel Jesus, Mirror Sport state.
Has poor form seen Tielemans’ stock decline?
This isn’t the first time Youri Tielemans has been supposedly nearing the King Power Stadium exit door with the Belgium international embroiled in a similar saga last year.
Tottenham and Manchester United were the teams heavily linked but he eventually favoured another season in the East Midlands.
The joy felt at their FA Cup-winning man staying eroded for the Leicester faithful as the season progressed, however. Poor form, not helped by the injury-plagued team around him, led to a contingent of Foxes fans questioning his commitment to the cause.
He ended the season with the dreaded crown of conceding the most penalties with four – more than Man City, Tottenham and Southampton combined.
🤦♂️ Youri Tielemans conceded more penalties in 2021/22 than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues (4) pic.twitter.com/afI6l03mR7
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 25, 2022
Tielemans’ drop in level hasn’t impacted Arsenal’s desire to sign him, but it may have limited his options.
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham are among those in the market for a player of the Anderlecht academy product’s profile, but aside from Arsenal, concrete interest has been at a premium.
Any logical Leicester City supporter would surely welcome Youri Tielemans back with open arms if a transfer was to fall through but he may find he has some patching up to do.