Arsenal are closing in on a deal to bring Youri Tielemans to The Emirates in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Spanish publication Marca (via Sport Witness), who claim that, despite Barcelona’s interest in signing the Leicester City midfielder as a replacement for Sergio Busquets in the heart of Xavi Hernández’s side, the Catalan club believe that they have already missed out on the Belgium international’s signature.
The report goes on to state that this is due to the 25-year-old being ‘very cold’ to the approaches of the LaLiga giants, something that Barca feel is down to the playmaker having already agreed a deal with another team, with Marca suggesting that this side is Arsenal – who have previously been reported to be “on track” to land Tielemans this winter.
Considering just how impressive Tielemans has been in an underperforming Leicester side so far this season, coupled with central midfield clearly being the area of Mikel Arteta’s table-topping side that lacks the most depth, the news that Edu appears to be closing in on a deal for the 25-year-old is undoubtedly fantastic news for the Gunners.
Indeed, over his 15 Premier League appearances in the current campaign, the £43.5m-rated talent has been in sensational form, having scored three goals, registered one assist and created five big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.1 shots – 0.6 of which have been on target – making 1.2 key passes and completing 0.5 dribbles – per game.
The £35k-per-week midfielder has also impressed in metrics more typically associated with his position, making an average of 2.3 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and winning 4.1 duels – at a success rate of 59% – per match, as well as playing an average of 2.5 long balls, 2.3 chipped passes and completing a total of 47.3 passes – at a success rate of 86% – per game.
These returns have seen the playmaker who Jack Johnson dubbed “unreal” average an astonishing Sofascore match rating of 7.21, not only ranking him as Brendan Rodgers’ second-best performer in the league but also as the joint 26th-best player in the top flight as a whole – a rather remarkable feat considering he is playing a team who sit 13th in the Premier League standings.
As such, it can be safely assumed that, if playing for a side who currently occupy top spot in the division, Tielemans’ attacking and creative output would only increase further, something that further suggests that the 58-cap Belgium star would be something of a dream signing for Arteta ahead of his side’s title charge in the second half of the season.