Premier League • England

Arsenal told Beckham-like target calls the shots after ‘unbelievable’ display leaves pundit drooling

Youri Tielemans, James Maddison, Leicester City, November 2022

Arsenal transfer target Youri Tielemans has the pick of “any club he wants” in the summer, after an “unbelievable” goalscoring performance.

Tielemans has long been one of Leicester City’s most influential assets. The central midfielder has contributed to more than 50 goals in his 173 appearances at the club.

His best haul in a season was nine goals and six assists in all competitions in 2020/21. That included a long-range screamer, which was the only goal in the Foxes’ 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.

Tielemans has shown that he can score from almost anywhere time after time.

This season, that has been no different. The Belgian’s second goal of the campaign saw him plant one in the top corner from outside the box against Wolves.

Just two games later, he scored another cracker from range, against Everton. Both of those goals were scored in Leicester wins – those were hard to come by at the start of the season.

Indeed, it wasn’t until the ninth league game of the season that the Foxes registered their first win.

Since then, they have won three more games, and pulled themselves up to mid-table. Tielemans’ influence has been a big factor in Leicester climbing the table.

Defoe likens Tielemans to major stars

Former Premier League star Jermain Defoe was stunned by Tielemans’ wonder strike against Leicester. He likened the Belgian to a pair of the Premier League’s best ever talents.

“What a finish,” he said, via the Premier League.

“Not just the finish, it’s the touch as well. When he sets himself, it’s like a paintbrush, bang, no keeper is saving that. Unbelievable – he has that sort of quality. Every time you see it, it just gets better and better – unbelievable goal.

“It’s the Scholesy one. Scholes and Beckham used to do it. It’s so difficult, he makes it look so easy to hit it the first time and keep it down.”

Tielemans has pick of clubs

Performances like the one against Everton show just why there is so much interest in Tielemans. Arsenal have been one of the most heavily-linked sides for some time.

It seems they currently have the strongest chance of snaring the Leicester star. However, Defoe feels Tielemans can now call the shots.

“Technically he is so good, players like that, when you have better players around you, it makes you better. He’s just a top player,” he said.

“He’s in the strongest position ever. How he is performing now, then Leicester need to try to get him signed.

“But it will be a pick of any club he wants in the summer. There is no pressure on him and see what happens in the summer.”

Leicester’s chances of retaining him seem to be slipping away. Their start to the season, despite their upturn in form, showed that they are not currently in a good enough position to keep stars like him in the side.

Arsenal could still be in with a good shout of landing him. If he is to have his pick of clubs, it would be no surprise if he wanted to move there.

The Gunners are top of the league, and adding him to the side should make them even stronger. All he has to do is continue putting in solid performances for Leicester.