Sensational praise for Aston Villa star who’s matched elite Man City ace

Youri Tielemans and Leon Bailey, Aston Villa

Aston Villa star Youri Tielemans has received huge praise

Youri Tielemans has received big praise from two pundits who have claimed the Aston Villa star is on par with a world-class Manchester City player.

Tielemans made 195 appearances for Leicester City between January 2019 and July 2023, helping the Foxes win the FA Cup and Community Shield. The central midfielder was the subject of plenty of speculation last year as he decided to run down his Leicester contract.

Tielemans was expected to join a so-called ‘Big Six’ club, with Arsenal and Liverpool both tipped to send him contract offers.

However, Aston Villa raised eyebrows when they struck an agreement to capture the 26-year-old on a free transfer.

Tielemans struggled during his first few months in the West Midlands, as it took him time to convince Unai Emery that he should be a regular starter.

But Tielemans is now a crucial player for Villa, having played 70 minutes or more in seven of their last nine Premier League matches.

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The Belgian has also registered assists in his last two league games, helping Villa draw 3-3 with Brentford and beat Arsenal 2-0.

Tielemans was particularly impressive against Arsenal, as Emery shocked his former club at the Emirates in a result that could help Manchester City win the title.

Youri Tielemans played ‘perfectly’ against Arsenal

Tielemans’ excellent performance has seen him pick up praise from both Belgian commentator Filip Joos and former midfielder Franky Van der Elst, who won 86 caps for Belgium.

“He played lower [deeper] than normal against the Gunners because Douglas Luiz, the regular No 6, was suspended. Tielemans played football in service of the two midfielders in front of him, which is what happens at the Red Devils [Belgium national team],” Joos said.

Van Der Elst added: “And he did that perfectly. During the match, he often had to react quickly under pressure and always play forward football. It all had to happen quickly, but he was really strong.”

Joos continued: “In principle, he will get even better with more time on the ball. Aston Villa is a well-oiled machine. Unai Emery always lets his team play football, even under intense pressure from the opponent.”

Joos then handed Tielemans brilliant praise by naming him as one of Belgium’s lynchpins, alongside Man City ace Kevin de Bruyne and two other well-known players in England.

“Sunday’s Tielemans can be mentioned in the same breath as [Romelu] Lukaku, De Bruyne and [Jan] Vertonghen,” he said.

Van Der Elst did not shut down such claims either, as he responded: “If we are talking about the Tielemans of yesterday [vs Arsenal], then certainly.”

Tielemans will be hoping to put in another top-quality display when Villa travel to Lille in the second leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final on Thursday.

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