Arsenal are believed to be leading the race to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans this summer with the Belgian potentially available for a cut-price fee.
The 24-year-old’s contract at the King Power Stadium expires in 2023 which could give clubs swooping for the midfielder’s signature this summer an edge as the Foxes look to cash in on the Belgian.
It has been suggested that, alongside Arsenal, Manchester United are interested in securing the 24-year-old’s signature this summer, however, with the Gunners looking more likely by the week to be able to offer Champions League football next season, Mikel Arteta’s side are the more favourable option.
Tielemans has become a cult hero at the East Midlands club over the past three and a half years, particularly for last season’s stunning goal in the FA Cup final that secured Leicester their first ever FA Cup success.
However, given his contract situation, it seems likely that the 24-year-old will depart this summer.
With one of the Premier League’s best midfielders outside of the so-called top-six available for just £25m, it’s a no-brainer for Arsenal to swoop.
Whilst playing for Brendan Rodgers’ side, the Belgian has been involved in Champions League pushes, competed in Europe and won silverware. However, the 24-year-old will undoubtedly be looking to make the next step up in the very near future.
With the north London club fourth in the Premier League whilst also having a three-point advantage over and game in hand on fifth-place Tottenham, Champions League qualification is looking more likely each week.
Arteta will undoubtedly need recruits in the summer to manage both a European campaign and another top-four push next season, and Tielemans could prove to be exactly what Arsenal need.
In terms of midfielders, the Gunners are quite heavily stacked with the likes Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, Emile Smith-Rowe, Granit Xhaka, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny all senior midfielders at the Emirates, something that will certainly have to change to accommodate Tielemans.
It appears as though Elneny is set to leave with the Egyptian’s contract expiring in the summer whilst others may have to be moved on in order to ensure the Belgian will have regular playing time north London.
However, there is no doubt that swooping for the 24-year-old would be worthwhile, with the midfielder averaging a 7.18 rating in the league this season, according to SofaScore.
Moreover, the Belgian currently averages 68.3 touches per game as well as creating four big chances and providing 1.3 key passes with a 83% passing accuracy.
With Tielemans suiting a box-to-box role, his efforts at both ends of the pitch this season have been impressive, scoring six goals and averaging two shots per game whilst also making 2.1 tackles, 1.4 clearances and 0.7 interceptions.
Therefore, there is no doubt that the Belgian could recreate the role of Gunners legend Patrick Vieira in the famous red and white, although replicating the Frenchman’s legacy in Islington would be a very tall ask.
Players of Tieleman’s quality will certainly be keen to make the move to Arsenal if Champions League football is secured which will also make qualifying for Europe’s elite competition more likely in seasons to come given the improved personnel available.