YOURI TIELEMANS is the latest Belgian talent seemingly destined for big things.
A move away from Anderlecht was inevitable this summer, and Monaco have pipped a host of Premier League clubs to secure his signature.
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Our friends at Football Whispers look at what makes Tielemans so special and where the youngster would fit into United’s midfield.
The teenager has been tipped for greatness from an early age and became the youngest Belgian to play in the Champions League when he made his debut aged just 16 and 148 days.
Tielemans established himself as a key cog in Anderlecht’s midfield since making his debut against Lokeren in 2013 – becoming the fourth-youngest player in Belgian ProLeague history.
He has played more than 100 times since, scoring at a rate of roughly one in four, more than enough for Europe’s top clubs to confirm he is a player of real quality.
Ligue 1 leaders Monaco have now snapped him up over Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
Born in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw to a Congolese mother and Belgian father, Tielemans combined playing for Anderlecht’s youth sides with his education.
He completed his studies at 18 – two years after signing his first pro deal with the Paars-wit.
The then-coach John van den Brom saw the talent in the teenager at an early age and handed him his first taste of professional football when he was included in the match-day squad for a 1-0 win over Genk in the Belgian Super Cup in July 2013.
Clearly convinced Tielemans had the requisite ability to make an impression on the first team, Van den Brom handed his prodigy a full debut in the first week of the 2013-14 campaign as a 25th-minute substitute in a 3-2 loss to Lokeren.
The midfielder followed that up by making his Champions League debut against Olympiakos in October 2013.
Anderlecht won the Belgian title and he was named Belgian Young Player of the Year.
It could not have been a much better maiden campaign for Tielemans, making 35 appearances in all competitions and scoring once.
He has gone from strength-to-strength since and it is easy to forget he was still a teenager until the first week of May.
Capable of playing in front of the back four or as a No10, Tielemans’ best position is a playmaker in an orthodox central midfield role.
With a good range of passing and creativity, Tielemans could be the perfect replacement for Bernardo Silva, bringing creativity and attacking threat to Monaco’s midfield.
Tielemans has added goals to his game this season, hitting 13 from 28 league starts – one more than he has managed in each of the last three seasons combined.
He scores all kinds of goals but specialises in screamers.
He has a knack for collecting possession and letting fly from distance – using both feet – and took penalties for Anderlecht too.
His importance to the side was recognised by coach Rene Weiler, who made him captain at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium despite his youth.