According to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal’s main target is Youri Tielemans…
On a recent episode of the Que Golazo Podcast, the Italian journalist provided an update on the Gunners’ preparations before deadline day.
“The midfielder, Tielemans has always been at the top of Arsenal’s list, but there has been no official bid to Leicester.” According to my sources, Arsenal is still focused on outgoings.
“The roles they have been following are a midfielder and a winger but it depends, Arsenal has a very good strategy.
“For example, if you asked me the same question in January I’d say they wanted a striker, but they didn’t waste money on a player they didn’t trust because they couldn’t get [Dusan] Vlahovic, they waited and got Gabriel Jesus in the summer.”
If Arsenal is keen on the player, then technical director Edu Gaspar must act sooner rather than later as time is running out for him to join the club in this current transfer window.
Some reports have suggested that personal terms have already been agreed with the Belgium international and others claim that it’ll only cost them around £25m, so you have to wonder what the wait is for.
Tielemans is a vastly experienced Premier League talent and one that Arteta desperately needs if his side is to remain competitive in this campaign.
They narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification due to a late collapse last season and right now, the engine room looks particularly weak behind his first-choice duo of Thomas Partey and new vice-captain Granit Xhaka.
The 25-year-old maestro could rival the pair to a starting berth under Arteta and that would surely elevate both of their games. Meanwhile, the Foxes star would be a considerable upgrade on those behind them, notably Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Once described as a “phenomenon” by former Sweden international Par Zetterberg, Tielemans provided Leicester with seven goals and five assists in 2021/22, making it a total of 48 goal contributions in 160 appearances from central midfield, as per Transfermarkt.
122 of those games have been in the Premier League, where he was among the top 14% of all midfielders in terms of progressive passes per 90 (5.61) and goal-creating actions (0.41 per 90) last season, according to FBref.
Tielemans, clearly a big danger in the last third, might be the missing piece of the puzzle for Arteta for the rest of the season, so it’s up to Edu and co to get this trade done before it’s too late.
With fewer than two weeks remaining in the window, the Spaniard is still no closer to adding depth to his depleted engine room.