He’s been incredible for Leicester City this season, but such impressive displays haven’t gone unnoticed by some of the Premier League’s biggest and richest clubs. Alongside his obvious prowess in the middle of the park, the Belgian has also contributed with a number of crucial goals, including a long-range winner in the 2021 FA Cup final. However, with Leicester City set to be playing in Europe next season, and the Foxes steadily improving year on year, will Tielemans answer the call if the big clubs come knocking?
Rumors of his departure were always inevitable this summer, given that Tielemans won Leicester City’s 2020/21 supporters’ player of the season award. Stories initially emerged from his home nation of Belgium, as sports journalist Sven Cales reported that Manchester United are keen on pursuing a deal for the youngster this summer, along with a list of other clubs that are keen, according to sources such as BoyleSports. He also added that one of Spain’s most illustrious clubs could join the hunt – should he be made available by Leicester.
It would be a huge blow to the Foxes
The first thing to acknowledge is just how impressive Youri has been at his current club, whom he first joined mid-way through the 2018/19 season. He would subsequently sign for the club on a permanent basis the following summer, for a fee believed to be in the region of 40 million. Under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, Tielemans has gone from strength to strength, scoring 17 goals and laying on 19 assists in 108 appearances for the East Midlands outfit.
The key issue for Leicester at this present time is the status of his contract, as the player has just two years remaining on his £33,000 per week contract remaining. The club is naturally pushing for him to re-sign, but with the vultures circling, there’s no guarantee that the former Anderlecht starlet will fall in line. Contract talks are thought to have already begun, with Rodgers especially keen to keep hold of his midfield maestro.
Premier League clubs are thought to be keen
On the flip side, it’s clear to see why clubs such as Manchester United are so keen to try and prize him away from the King Power. Tielemans would arguably be the answer to United’s midfield issue, as he’d provide accurate passing, goals from range and defensive solidity. If the Red Devils are looking for a Fred upgrade – their current midfield custodian – the 24-year-old should be at the top of their wish list.
However, if United do want to land him, they may have to fight off competition from Liverpool, who have also been linked with the player. Jurgen Klopp will head into next season without one of his loyal midfield lieutenants after Georginio Wijnaldum opted to join PSG on a free transfer. In theory, at least, this leaves a sizable hole in the starting XI of the six-time European Champions, one which could adequately be filled by Tielemans. The stumbling block for the Reds would invariably be money, particularly as they already have Thiago in their ranks.
How would Leicester cope without him?
Leicester City will need all the help they can get next season if they wish to finally earn a Champions League spot. The club has narrowly missed out on a top-four finish for the past two years in a row, meaning that they have also missed out on the huge financial windfall that would have generated. Qualifying at the third time of asking in 21/22 won’t be easy, especially with the big six clubs all likely to reinvest this over the next month or so.
If the Foxes are to stand any chance of securing a top-four finish next season, then keeping hold of Tielemans must surely be a priority. Leicester City is the perfect place for him to be in terms of getting regular first-team football at a very high level – just as Monaco was when he left Belgium as a teenager. The rumours are set to rumble on, but Leicester certainly won’t make it easy for any club that wishes to acquire his services this summer.