Arsenal have Youri Tielemans at the top of their list, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano…
The Italian journalist was appearing on a recent episode of the Que Golazo Podcast, where he delivered an update on the Gunners’ plans before deadline day.
“The midfielder, it has always been Tielemans at the top of the list for Arsenal, but still no official bid to Leicester. I’m told Arsenal are still focused on outgoings.
“The roles they have been following are a midfielder and a winger but it depends, Arsenal have a very good strategy.
“For example, if you asked me the same question in January I’d say they wanted a striker, but they didn’t waste money on a player they didn’t trust because they couldn’t get [Dusan] Vlahovic, they waited and got Gabriel Jesus in the summer.”
If Arsenal are keen on the player, then technical director Edu Gaspar must act sooner rather than later as time is running out for him to join the club in this current transfer window.
Some reports have suggested that personal terms have already been agreed with the Belgium international and others claim that it’ll only cost them around £25m, so you have to wonder what the wait is for.
Tielemans is a vastly experienced Premier League talent and one that Arteta desperately needs if his side are to remain competitive in this campaign.
They narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification due to a late collapse last season and right now, the engine room looks particularly weak behind his first-choice duo of Thomas Partey and new vice-captain Granit Xhaka.
The 25-year-old maestro could rival the pair to a starting berth under Arteta and that would surely elevate both of their games. Meanwhile, the Foxes star would be a considerable upgrade on those behind them, notably Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Once described as a “phenomenon” by former Sweden international Par Zetterberg, Tielemans provided Leicester with seven goals and five assists in 2021/22, making it a total of 48 goal contributions in 160 appearances from central midfield, as per Transfermarkt.
122 of those matches have come in the Premier League, where last season, he ranked within the top 14% of all midfielders for progressive passes per 90 (5.61) and the top 10% for goal-creating actions (0.41 per 90), via FBref.
Evidently a key threat in the final third, Tielemans could be the missing piece of the puzzle for Arteta heading into the remainder of the season, so it’s on Edu and co to get this deal over the line before it’s too late.
There are less than two weeks left in the window and the Spaniard is no closer to adding depth to his threadbare engine room.