Anderlecht midfielder, Youri Tielemans, is once again being linked to a big European name after establishing himself as one of the world’s brightest prospects. Despite being just 19-years-old, Tielemans has made over 100 appearances for Anderlecht and has one cap for the senior Belgium team.
We profile the youngster being linked with a move to the Premier League.
NAME: Youri Tielemans
POSITION: Centre midfield
HE’S ABIT LIKE: Luka Modric
Who is he?
Born in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in Belgium, Tielemans is a product of Anderlecht’s youth academy, signing his first professional contract with the club aged only 16. He is the fourth youngest player in the club’s history to make a first-team appearance and has developed into a regular for his side in recent years.
He was named Belgium’s Young Player of the Year for two consecutive years in 2014. He has represented Anderlecht in both the Champions League and Europa League meaning he has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne in making a move to England.
Style of play
Tieleman’s role at Anderlecht is a deep-lying playmaker in the holding midfield position. He is able to break up the play but also kick-starts attacks due to his range of passing and dribbling abilities. The youngster shows great technical ability, using either foot. He has been compared to Real Madrid’s Luka Modric due to his flair and elegance on the ball.
His attacking ability means he can comfortably occupy a more advanced midfield role. Tieleman has also become a leader of the Anderlecht team – his maturity at such a young age is remarkable. His slight frame means he is agile enough to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.
Tielemans excels at passing and dribbling but his finishing leaves much to be desired, and his low scoring rate could deter some potential suitors. However, Tielemans has scored some fantastic long range strikes during his time in Belgium. If he did move to England, he would have to adapt quickly to the physicality of the league if playing in a more defensive role.
Did you know?
Tielemans can speak three languages. Flemish, French and English meaning there would be no language barrier if he did opt to move to a Premier League side.
“He is a phenomenon. There are not many players better than him.” – Anderlecht legend, Par Zetterberg.
“We have always known Tielemans was a super talent. Whenever anyone asked me who I thought would go far, I would mention his name first.” – Anderlecht youth coach, Mohammed Ouahbi.
“Sometimes the older players like Silvio Proto or Olivier Deschacht say to me, ‘Hey, you were only born yesterday,’ but it’s just banter. A few years ago I was watching these boys on TV – now I am one of them. It’s amazing!”
According to the Daily Star, there is a six-way tug of war for Tieleman’s signature. The Belgian is regularly linked with a move to the Premier League, La Liga or the Bundesliga.
Firstly, Liverpool have been linked with a move for the 19-year-old. Jurgen Klopp reportedly targeted the youngster during his time at Borussia Dortmund and could look to bring the youngster to Anfield. However, the German seems to have found his preferred midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum with Emre Can, Ovie Ejaria, and Marko Grujic all looking to break into the first-team.
Manchester United and Chelsea are also keeping tabs on the midfielder according to the Star. Earlier in the summer, reports emerged that Jose Mourinho had called the youngster to ask about a move to Old Trafford. Tielemans was quick to quash the rumours insisting no call was made.
Tottenham were also weighing up a summer move for the Belgian international but might have been priced out of a move with Tieleman’s contract expiring in 2020 – Anderlecht can drive a hard bargain. Spurs are happy to wait and see how his seasons pans out before planning another move.
Finally, both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are also tracking his development and will likely prove a thorn to Premier League sides if a bidding war does ensure with the European heavyweights able to offer significant wages to land the starlet.
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