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Youri Tielemans to Arsenal more likely with Lokonga loan

Youri Tielemans to Arsenal

Arsenal are interested in signing a new midfielder heading into the 2022/23 season. Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans is undoubtedly the player most frequently linked with the Gunners. While the north London outfit has not made an official bid for the midfield maestro, a move for Youri Tielemans to Arsenal appears likely. The north London club have supposedly long agreed personal terms with the Belgium international, and should submit a formal offer sometime this month.

It has been surprising that no other big club has bid yet for Tielemans this summer. The 25-year-old midfielder has been a mainstay in Leicester’s midfield and is one of the club’s most important players. In fact, since making his move to the East Midlands permanent in 2019, he has made 30+ Premier League appearances every season with the team. With only a year remaining on his current contract. However, Tielemans can be had for a relatively reasonable transfer fee.

Although Arsenal are thought to be very interested in signing Tielemans, it has also been suggested that the club want to sell/loan some players before making a move for the Belgium international. The Gunners have already recently sold midfielder Lucas Torreira to Galatasaray, but may need to move one more player in this position in the coming weeks.

Youri Tielemans to Arsenal dependent on Lokonga loan

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is almost certainly not in manager Mikel Arteta’s future plans at the club and he, along with technical director Edu, would love to find a buyer for the player; however, there has not been much notable interest in the midfielder as of yet. One Arsenal midfielder that has garnered some interest as of late is Albert Sambi Lokonga. Reports surfaced on Wednesday that AC Milan are interested in signing Lokonga from the Gunners this summer.

Any deal to let Lokonga leave should most likely be a simple one-year loan. The Belgium international is supposedly rated highly within the north London club and they would be hesitant to sell a young prospect after only just signing him last summer. Nevertheless, allowing Lokonga to leave on loan would be excellent business by Arteta and company. The 22-year-old midfielder could benefit from regular playing time, much like how William Saliba did with Marseille last season.

If Arsenal decide to loan out Lokonga and sign a top central midfielder like Tielemans, it would be a win-win situation for the Gunners. The young Lokonga would receive valuable experience and Arsenal would have a Premier League proven player to bolster their squad.

Who makes way for Youri Tielemans

Many fans assume Tielemans, or another top central midfield target, would immediately take Granit Xhaka’s starting spot. However, as we have seen for years now, Xhaka is highly respected with every coach during his time in north London. In fact, while Tielemans and Xhaka are not exactly similar players, their per 90 minute statistics while starting in midfield during last year’s Premier League season are fairly similar.

A player like Tielemans could obviously start over Xhaka for Arsenal. The Leicester City player is very talented, as well as versatile. Either way, Tielemans would give Arteta depth in the number eight role and even as a defensive midfielder. Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny normally operate as Arteta’s number six, but Tielemans does have experience in the role. Having talented depth is essential when building a team that is looking to qualify for the Champions League in the near future.

Photo credit: Getty Images Sport

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mercator

    August 11, 2022 at 10:34 am

    I really hope they pull this off, it’s a win-win like you said Chris! This would be an incredible window if we do get it done before the deadline, and actually the last 3 full windows under Arteta have been very solid.

  2. SteveK

    August 11, 2022 at 9:51 am

    That was an excellent summary and analysis, Chris, especially since there may be a “player who cannot be named for legal reasons” whose future availability might be restricted. Pablo Mari to Monza covering his full salary just broke and that frees up some cash this year as well.

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