Arsenal have held preliminary talks with Youri Tielemans’ representatives ahead of a potential summer switch to the Emirates, as per TEAMtalk.
What’s the latest on Tielemans to Arsenal?
The Gunners, led by sporting director Edu Gaspar, have been in contact with agents of the Leicester City star, who has less than six months remaining on his contract.
However, the Belgium international’s high wage demands would have made him one of the highest earners in north London, thus Arsenal could back away from the prospective deal.
Mikel Arteta’s side faces competition from Newcastle United, but they are also unwilling to meet Tielemans’ high demands. Clubs from Italy and Spain are also monitoring his situation and unless his stance changes, he could well depart English shores in the near future.
How would Tielemans fit into Arsenal?
In his initial time at Leicester, the 25-year-old – who currently earns a lowly £35k-per-week – had quickly proved himself to be a prized asset of the Foxes. He was part of their FA Cup-winning side in 2021, where he scored the winning goal.
However, Tielemans is now looking for that next step up, and, if he can strike a deal with the Gunners, a switch to the Emirates would benefit both parties.
Some of Arsenal’s success this season has stemmed from being able to name a consistent starting XI, but there is no doubt that Arteta’s side needs better depth: the former Monaco midfielder offers this.
Tielemans would operate in a similar role to Granit Xhaka if he made the move to north London. Truly, Arsenal’s left-sided no.8 role has only been utilised by the Swiss this season, despite cameo appearances from others there.
As per FBref, the Belgium international’s and Xhaka’s passing statistics are relatively similar. The Leicester star just beats the Gunners’ redemptive midfielder for passes completed per 90 minutes, which is surprising given the team’s usual high possession.
Not only do they have similar passing statistics, but they have incredibly close shot-creating actions (SCA) too.
Xhaka, who has been pushing further forward this season, has an SCA per 90 minutes of 3.56, whereas Tielemans has 3.32 – this demonstrates that the former Anderlecht ace would be able to fulfil that box-to-box to a similar standard as their current player.
Elsewhere, the €30m-rated (£26m) midfielder makes more tackles than Xhaka per 90 minutes (2.53 to 1.02) and more interceptions as well (1.00 to 0.45). This may be down to Leicester having less of the ball than the Gunners on average, but it shows that Tielemans can excel in this area of his game too.
The Belgian, labelled “one of the best in Europe” by former manager Brendan Rodgers and previously hailed as a “phenomenon” by ex-Anderlecht and Sweden midfielder Par Zetterberg, has been one of Leicester’s top performers this season, as per WhoScored, so losing him will be a blow.
For Arsenal, if a deal can be struck, Tielemans may give their midfield a boost to the next level.