Time to pull the trigger on Tielemans
3 min read

Time to pull the trigger on Tielemans

Time to pull the trigger on Tielemans

It was a fun three matches before Arsenal were hit with an injury crisis.

The first hints of worry were when Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey were injured. Arsenal have become incredibly vague when describing injuries but said that these were mostly precautionary but it does look like Partey's injury could be the one that keeps him out of the team a bit longer.

The solution on Saturday was Mohamed Elneny, who it is being reported today picked up an injury that is being described as keeping him out for a "substantial period" according to James McNicholas and David Ornstein of The Athletic.

I have never been enamored with Elneny, he's a "fine" player but he is very clearly a number two. If he is playing it is not by choice but rather by necessity. That's fine and you need a couple of those guys around but what had given me pause was that he was the primary backup not of a guy that started 30+ matches but one that has played just 53% of the available Premier League minutes since he joined the team. Partey was and still is one of the weakest links in how Arsenal wants to play and the team's plan B is just "fine" and one you wouldn't want to see playing for 6 weeks straight.

That leads to a player that Arsenal have been closely tied to all summer in Youri Tielemans probably moving up the pecking order of needs.

I think that Arsenal have been playing a bit of chicken with Leicester over the fee, Tielemans is at the last year of his deal and the threat of losing him as a free agent is a real threat but I think for Arsenal it might be time to bite the bullet and go for it.

So how good is Tielemans?

This is the multi-million pound question and one that isn't super easy because he is asked to do different things than he would at Arsenal (especially if he is Partey cover).

The stats suggest that he is a good all-around midfielder. With Leicester, he plays more on the right (he is right-footed) but he can play on the left, doing so for Belgium more often. He has typically played a bit further up the field but again can and has played as more of a defensive midfielder (about 25% of his minutes came there).

Compared to Partey he actually comes out looking better on stats but stats aren't always everything given the different roles and teams.

Looking at the midfield rating sytstem he again comes out looking quite good. I will show him on the deep playmaker template here but because he is good all around he rates well on pretty much all of them.

This is how he compares to the Arsenal players from last year on this same template.

I will readily admit that trying to put a single number on a player is hard and I wouldn't put too much stock into this beyond general tiers of players but I think this does suggest that Tielemans is good and that while every transfer has risks of not working out this one seems on the lower side than most.

Tielemans comes with Premier League experience, he wants to play for Arsenal, and it doesn't seem like it would be a crazy fee for a player with this age and experience (maybe the wages would be tho). If Arsenal can get things into a range that they are comfortable with for total compensation, it is time to pull the trigger.