sports gazette

Tielemans right-left magic shows he is ready for the PL

Published: 19 Feb 2017

Anderlecht's Youri Tielemans came off the bench yesterday to score two screamers in two minutes as his move abroad gets traction.

Tielemans was watching an enticing 1-1 draw unfold at fourth-placed Oostende from the bench, after captaining Anderlecht to victory against Zenit Saint Petersburg on Thursday.

However, when Sofiane Hanni got injured around the hour mark Anderlecht manager René Weiler called on Tielemans to take up the captain's armband again. 

The 19-year-old needed only ten minutes to turn the game upside down producing two sparks of pure magic. 

His right and left foot strikes inspired Anderlecht to score another via the league's topscorer Łukasz Teodorczyk to tie Club Brugge for the first spot.

Earlier this month Everton openly joined a stack of clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona in the race for the young playmaker earmarked as the next big thing to come out of the successful Anderlecht academy.

Romelu Lukaku, himself a disciple of that youth academy, took advantage of Everton's early FA cup exit last month to go watch his old team with his brother Jordan who is struggling to get playing time at Lazio.

The Everton striker might soon be called upon by his club's scouts for a serious conversation about the young midfielder as Tielemans hinted on playing time being paramount in his decision.

Unlike Lukaku, who had his gaze set firmly on the Premier League, Tielemans does not seem to think England is the only way, although most of the interest does seem to come from this side of the pond.

It's good to not burn steps and to avoid ending up on the bench and not getting game time. It's what's best for every footballer, I think. I, however, don't have a preference league wise.

Anderlecht won't let him go cheaply assuring only teams willing to dig deep will have a shot at his signature. 

Last week Tottenham, a renowned importer of Belgian talent, also made their interest known sending a scout to Thursday's Anderlecht-Zenit Europa League game.

Tielemans made his debut for Anderlecht at the age of 16 and has been stamped 'hot' at every summer transfer window since, but never has his move seemed so imminent. 

Enchantingly two-footed, the Anderlecht youth has improved on the two things he was mostly criticised for in the past, consistency and statistics.

Yesterday's goals were number ten and 11 in the competition, and he is not far off the double-double with seven assists already behind his name.

After over 150 appearances he now regularly takes on the captain armband for the Brussels side and made his debut for the Belgian Red Devils last year in the derby of the Low Countries against Holland.

The sky-high expectations for his future do not seem to harm Tielemans as he is determined to make this season his best one yet, domestically and in Europe. 

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