Youri Tielemans has revealed that he had wanted to join Arsenal, but didn’t believe he would have had enough chances in the first-team.
The young Belgian has been under the watchful eye of many big clubs across Europe in recent seasons, having broken into the Anderlecht first-team at the tender age of 16.
Tielemans clocked up 119 league starts for the Belgian side in his four years from his debut before joining Monaco this summer, and revealed that he had previously favoured a switch to Arsenal instead.
The international midfielder said: “I knew not much was going to change with Arsenal’s squad.
“Their management wanted to keep the same group of players together in order to finish high in the Premier League.
“I had to be honest with myself and take a look at the midfielders Arsenal have got. They are top-class players.
“I knew that I would not get many first-team chances with them, so I didn’t give any more thought to joining them.
“I never said no to any club. But I made it clear where I wanted to go.”
We currently have Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere and Mohamed Elneny vying for a first-team role in the centre of the field, while Santi Cazorla will also add to our options when returning from injury, and you can’t help but understand Tielemans thoughts.
I’m not convinced by Coquelin’s place in our squad any longer however, and would much prefer to have replaced him with the 20 year-old, but Francis is barely a regular starter either.
It remains to be seen whether Tielemans is ready to bench either Ramsey or Xhaka, but he most definitely looks like he has the potential to be better than the pair in the near future.
Would Tielemans have challenged for a first-team role? Should we have persuaded him that he could have played a part in our first-team squad?