Thielemans wants to go to the Champions League, the grandees of England and Spain are ready to help. “Leicester asks for 40 million euros
The Belgian “eight” has been attracting attention since playing for his native “Anderlecht”. Many top European clubs were already linked with the desire to sign Thielemans in a couple of years after he left the club’s youth team. But Uri decided not to rush and in 2017 he signed a contract with Monaco, which just got itself the status of the top, winning the league title and not much fall, a year later taking the silver medal.
In the Monegasque camp Thielemans stagnated, showing himself as a good player in the middle line without major ups and downs. In January 2019, the midfielder decided to rent by Leicester, and in the summer of that year he bought for a club record 45 million euros. Coach Brendan Rodgers came to the club along with Uri, and it was this specialist who influenced the fact that interest in the midfielder from the grandees of Europe returned.
The Belgian has become a player of the basics, his main trump cards are cutting passes, the guy sees the field perfectly and more often than not is not mistaken with finding the addressee for a pass. Has a great long-range shot, a lot of goals scored from behind the penalty box. He is not afraid to take the game on himself, calmly can drag the ball from the middle of the field to other people’s goalkeeper’s area, while justifiably taking risks and not keen on dribbling, which, incidentally, is also striking in a good way. Some experts argue that now Thielemans is just in a team of his level, and “start” in the grandee, comparing him with the same Kevin de Bruyne and drawing parallels “heaven and earth”. However, the performance of the guy at the ideal age of 24 and the coach interested in the player can change the view of the skeptics.
This season, Uri has played in 45 games in all competitions, scored 7 goals and made 4 assists. His contract with Leicester runs until the summer of 2023 and according to the media, the midfielder is not going to extend it, as he wants to play in the Champions League, which his current club will not offer him. Apparently, Thielemans decided to return the favor of fate and still try himself at a top club, and he has plenty of options.
Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are currently on the list of transfer candidates. MJ has been in the transfer newsletters more often than others, but because of the team’s results this season, which could leave it without the Champions League, the option of the Red Devils is likely to fall away. Of course, a move to United would still be a promotion, and if the information about the Champions League is just a fantasy of the woeful insiders, things look much simpler. United needs a player like Thielemans, at least because of Pogba’s departure.
Man City has been in constant contact with the Belgian’s agent since early March. In January, Goal.com reported that Arsenal held preliminary talks with the player’s representative. As for Liverpool, coach Jurgen Klopp saw Yuri as the ideal replacement for Wijnaldum a year ago, but the Reds decided not to pay the Foxes the amount they were asking for. “Chelsea appeared among the rumors about Thielemans with the arrival of May. The Londoners have reportedly indicated interest and a willingness to pay the requested amount for the move.
Don’t be too surprised to learn the clubs that, according to sources, want to see Yuri in their lineup are Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Madrid side wants to gradually replace the trio of Modrich-Casemiro-Kroos in the center of the field and Thielemans, in their opinion, will fit perfectly in the rebuilding of the middle line.
The Catalans’ interest was more often reported back under Ronald Koeman. The Dutch specialist did not get the Saul Nyiges and Wijnaldum he asked for, but now Xavi runs the Blaugrana and has de Jong, Pedri, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez at his disposal. Whether the Spaniard needs Thielemans is probably a rhetorical question. Though Mundo Deportivo put Yuri on Barça’s list of potential acquisitions in January.
Thielemans himself, responding to reporters’ questions about interest in his person from top clubs, gave quite the usual answer for all soccer players:
I am open to everything. As long as I am at Leicester I am ready to give my all for this club. I have always done so, and now I’m even more ready for it. My contract? I have not said that I would sign a new one, but I have not said that I would not sign.
I am very calm about my future. My contract expires in 2023. Over the summer I will explore all my options and make a decision. And it’s not that I want to leave at any cost. I still haven’t made my decision. I try not to think much about my future and concentrate on my game.
Brendan Rodgers didn’t give a spark or machine-gun quote in March, either:
He’s now at the age and stage of his contract where he needs to make sure he doesn’t lose sight of any of his opportunities. Of course, I’d be happy to keep him here at Leicester, but I also understand that a player’s career is fleeting.
And indeed, Yuri will be 25 years old on May 7. It’s probably at that age that one stops pegging a player’s status as young and ambitious, and expects a steady game with a peak performance. Thoughts about what club Thielemans will end up at in the summer are certainly not on the minds of 99.9% of soccer fans, but on paper this guy has a head start for the top level, and in the coming years the percentage indicated earlier may decrease.