There is not a major European club that has not been linked with a move for Anderlecht midfielder Youri Tielemans over the last couple of seasons.
The two-time Belgian international came through the youth system at Anderlecht, and has already made more than 120 league appearances since his first-team debut in 2013.
He might only be 19-years-old, but Tielemans was handed the captain’s armband for Anderlecht’s Europa League quarter-final first leg at home to Manchester United on Thursday night, which finished in a 1-1 draw.
A summer move away from Anderlecht appears likely for Tielemans, and it is expected that the teenager will have the pick of a number of clubs, including Man United, who have been consistently linked with a bid for the talented midfielder. Jose Mourinho even admitted that he was a fan of the midfielder after Thursday night’s draw.
Operating in a slightly deeper midfield position, Tielemans boasted an 80% pass success rate against the Red Devils in Brussels, but he was not afraid to leave his post in search of promising positions, which is indicated by the four crosses that he put into the Man United box.
The teenager has been a regular scorer for Anderlecht during the 2016-17 campaign, but he was asked to play a deeper role against Man United due to the away side’s domination of the ball.
As the numbers show, Tielemans was not afraid to put his foot in when needed, but he only actually committed two fouls despite being heavily involved in the middle of the park, where Paul Pogba was looking to dominate.
He is not exactly known for his searing pace, but the youngster registered two take-ons in Brussels, whilst he was prepared to attack the space when the opportunity arrived, creating two chances in the process.
There were 16 years between the two captains on the night, with Michael Carrick leading Man United on the opposite side.
Whether Tielemans is ready to slide into the Red Devils midfield is a question for another day, but the Belgian’s performance, complete with the captain’s armband, demonstrated his incredible potential.