Arsenal have been linked with a shock move for Youri Tielemans.
According to Goal journalist Charles Watts, the Gunners have held talks with the Belgian’s representatives over a potential switch to the Emirates Stadium this month.
The 24-year-old midfielder has just 18 months left to run on his current £120k-per-week contract at Leicester City and it’s thought that his agents have already had a meeting with the north London outfit at their London Colney training base in recent weeks.
Valued at £49.5m by Transfermarkt, Tielemans would not come cheap but he would be worth every penny to Mikel Arteta, who must be absolutely desperate for a new midfielder.
Both Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are at the Africa Cup of Nations, whilst the club recently sanctioned Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ loan move to AS Roma, leaving the Spanish head coach very light on options.
But in the Foxes dynamo, Arsenal could well find the perfect partner to accompany a powerhouse like Partey.
Tielemans is capable of adding goals and creativity from a deeper midfield role, very much akin to Santi Cazorla towards the end of his time in Islington.
He played an integral role for Brendan Rodgers’ side last season as they clinched the FA Cup trophy.
Overall, he provided nine goals and six assists, including the match-winner against Chelsea in the final and that form has continued into the current campaign as he currently sits on six strikes and three assists, as per Transfermarkt.
Cazorla may have been a more technically-gifted playmaker but it’s that creative and goalscoring presence that Arsenal have desperately lacked from midfield ever since his departure.
Tielemans, who stands at a slightly taller 5 foot 9, could prove to be the perfect solution, and he’d need no time to fit in thanks to his stint at the King Power.
The Belgian is capable of driving the Midlands outfit forward with his range of passing and dribbling ability. Last season, he was said to be ‘contributing strongly to Leicester creating scoring chances,’ for example.
Therefore, despite not seemingly being a little magician, it could indeed be Tielemans who hands Arteta and the Gunners a new Cazorla-like playmaker in midfield.
Edu Gaspar and the club’s recruitment staff must work harder to force this deal through this month. He’d be a mighty fine addition to Arsenal.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano delivers major Arsenal transfer update…