Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has broken his silence for the first time since failing to secure a move away from the club this summer. The Belgian international was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and Manchester United, however, the Gunners and the Red Devils didn’t make an official bid before the window closed.
It could be a decision that Mikel Arteta may regret for the first half of the season, given the lack of midfield bodies available in the squad. Injury blows led to a late move for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, however that was a move that never materialised in the final hours.
On the business conducted this summer, the Arsenal manager said: “The club has done a phenomenal job and put everything on the table to try to bring the players and the profiles we wanted. We did business pretty early but unfortunately in the last 72 hours, Thomas [Partey] got injured in the same place he got injured last time and then Mo [Mohamed Elneny] has a long-term injury and we had to react in the market.
“We tried but at the end of the day, we have to bring the player that we feel is the right player for the team and as well for the club and we didn’t manage to do that.” That move was made despite summer-long links with Tielemans, who has entered the final year of his deal at the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes were dealing with financial issues too and given his unlikeliness of signing a new contract, a permanent transfer seemed likely at one stage. As the window dragged on though, other targets were pursued first and come the closing of the window, Tielemans was still a Leicester player.
He has since broken his silence on the transfer saga, saying: “I’m not going to speak too much about my contract situation at the moment. I didn’t leave Leicester in the summer as I always said the project had to be the right one.
“Just because things are getting worse now at Leicester doesn’t mean I should regret [staying].” The 25-year-old is still a reported target for Arsenal as well as rivals Manchester United, with his contract continuing to run down.
With the January window on the horizon, it remains to be seen whether he will still be a Leicester player or if one of those two sides – or an unknown third party – makes a move for him.