Mikel Arteta is following in Arsene Wenger’s footsteps when identifying his next midfield signing for the Gunners. Youri Tielemans was of interest to Wenger, and Arteta is now showing similar interest.
According to Spanish news outlet AS, both Arsenal and Chelsea had made enquiries about the then 18-year-old Tielemans when he was a player at Anderlecht in 2015. Wenger was the Gunners’ manager at the time of Arsenal’s reported interest.
Fast-forward seven years to 2022, and according to Belgian news outlet Voetbalkrant, Tielemans’ transfer to Arsenal is taking shape and talks between the club and his agent are going smoothly as Arteta looks to strengthen the Arsenal midfield ahead of next season.
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Arteta has previously touched on repeating Wenger’s legacy at Arsenal and this could be a factor in the Gunners’ pursuit of Tielemans. Speaking at the Arsene Wenger film premiere in November, Arteta said: “ I would like to recover a lot of things that he did and I would like him to be more present at the club. I think the players would love him, they will benefit, they will be inspired to have him around and I think for the club it would be a huge boost.”
Arteta’s invitation for Wenger to become more of a prominent figure at Arsenal could certainly help in the pursuit for Tielemans. Especially as the Belgium international had been scouted by Wenger when he was an 18-year-old at Anderlecht.
The 25-year-old has been a regular in the Premier League for the last three seasons and has played a big part in Leicester’s Champions League push over the last few campaigns. The midfielders’ impressive performances have seen the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid previously show interest in him.
Arsenal may fancy their chances of signing Tielemans even more after comments made by his manager Brendan Rodgers earlier in the season. “Youri is at an age and at a stage in his contract where he has to ensure he looks at every option,” Rodgers said. “I would love it to be here at Leicester, that is natural, but I understand it’s a very short career.”
At just 25-years-old, The Belgian international already has 100 Premier League games under his belt and he has also contributed 34 goals. These are very impressive numbers for a central midfielder.
More importantly, he has already played in 20 Champions League games showing that he has the necessary European experience. With Arsenal striving for their own top-four push, this will be an added bonus.
The acquisition of Tielemans would be a great coup for the Gunners, and the fact that he follows Edu’s recruitment strategy perfectly should give Arsenal the perfect incentive to push hard for a deal. Wenger’s previous interest in him shows that this has been a transfer destined to get over the line.
Source by Football London