Arsenal

Arsenal: Watts claims top target’s deal will start progressing now

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Journalist Charles Watts claimed that Arsenal’s potential deal to bring Youri Tielemans to the Emirates Stadium this summer could start to pick up pace now the player has completed his international duty with Belgium. 

The north London outfit are looking to continue to build around manager Mikel Arteta after a promising season in 2021/22, which ultimately ended with the club narrowly missing out on Champions League football to their bitter rivals.

They have been linked with numerous top-level players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, but have only welcomed winger Marquinhos to the club thus far, though they have since agreed a fee for Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira. Their most recent link, however, is with Leicester City’s key man Tielemans, who recently said his departure from the club was ‘not out of the question’ and he would ‘listen to other opportunities’.

Nothing formally has happened yet with regard to a possible transfer, but according to Watts – who was speaking before the Vieira developments – any deal for the Belgium international could be done soon as he has arrived back from international duty, and talks with representatives of the player have already happened.

He said: “I expect this to really start progressing now, that he’s finished with Belgium. It was always kind of waiting for this point. And now it’s going to be where it kicks on. As far as I’m aware, Arsenal haven’t held official talks with Leicester to thrash out this potential transfer fee yet.

“It’s all been kind of representative stuff – ensuring the player wants to come, and talking to representatives – that’s been going on for a long time; I first reported that in January.

“Now we’re at the stage where they’re going to have to talk to Leicester and try and get a deal done. And I think we’ll see that progressing fairly quickly from this point, because he’s a player that Arsenal want.”

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TIF Thoughts on Tielemans to Arsenal… 

Upgrading the midfield should be a priority for Arsenal this summer as they only have Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Sambi Lokonga in the centre, while Partey struggled with fitness during the last campaign and was sidelined with a thigh injury that he sustained in April which made him miss the rest of the season.

Signing a player like Tielemans could be considered an upgrade in that position and he could fit straight into the first team at the start of next term. Last season, the Belgian racked up seven goals and five assists in all competitions for the Foxes, as well as ranking in the 94th percentile for total shots, 89th for expected assists, 88th for progressive passes and 85th for shot-creating actions (as per FBRef).

It is currently unknown how much the transfer would cost the north Londoners, but a significant upgrade in the position with someone who has Premier League experience could cost a significant fee, but with the youth in the side, they need a leader and someone to look up to. For those reasons, the transfer is perhaps worth doing for any fee.

Should Arsenal sign Tielemans?

Yes

Yes

No

No

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