24-year-old Leicester City star linked with a move away to Barcelona – what should Rodgers do?

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Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans has been targeted by Barcelona

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Leicestershire Live), Youri Tielemans has been targeted by Barcelona in a move away from Leicester City. The 24-year-old has started all five games for the King Power outfit this season, including their victory in the Community Shield final against Manchester City.

Tielemans made the move from Monaco to Leicester back in 2019 for a club-record fee of £40million. However, the Belgian has proved his worth to the Foxes in the last two seasons and was a vital part of the club’s FA Cup victory in May when he scored the only goal of the game in the final against Chelsea. Could the midfielder now make the move to Barcelona? And more importantly, should Leicester City let the 24-year-old leave the club?

Youri Tielemans is an important cog in the Leicester City machine

Since he arrived at the club more than two years ago, Tielemans has made 113 appearances for the Foxes and has maintained a steady position in Leicester’s midfield. Last season alone, the central midfielder managed to rack up an incredible 51 appearances in all competitions, including featuring in all of the club’s Premier League and FA Cup games. In this process, he also managed to score 9 goals and provide 6 assists.

Tielemans has been targeted by Barcelona in a potential move. (imago Images)
Tielemans has been targeted by Barcelona in a potential move. (imago Images)

The Belgian’s performances did not go unnoticed as the player was selected by Roberto Martinez in the national team for the 2020 Euros earlier this summer. Although Belgium bowed out in the quarter-final to eventual winners Italy, Tielemans played a prominent role in the centre of the park for his country.

Thus, the 24-year-old is an established midfielder at club & country level, courtesy of which it is understandable why Barcelona are interested in securing the player’s services. However, he is a pivotal cog in the Foxes’ machine, and it does not make sense to let go of Tielemans, especially when he can serve the club for many more years to come. 

Moreover, Leicester also lack an immediate replacement for the midfielder. Although the club did sign Boubakary Soumare from Lille earlier this summer, the Foxes need considerable depth in their midfield line as they have been competing in four competitions for the last two years, and will do the same again this season. 

Leicester City need to tie down Tielemans to a new contract

Given how important the 24-year-old has been to the East Midlands outfit, it would be smart of the club to offer the Belgian a new deal, especially with his current one expiring in 2023.

Should Leicester City hold on to Youri Tielemans despite foreign interest in the player? (Getty Images)
Should Leicester City hold on to Youri Tielemans despite Barcelona’ss interest in the player? (Getty Images)

The midfielder is said to be in negotiations for a new contract but was also linked with a move to Liverpool this past summer. However, Leicester managed to retain the Belgian’s services but might not enjoy the same luxury next summer as he would only have a year left on his contract, should an extension not be agreed by then between the concerned parties.

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The Foxes have lost their important players previously in N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez but since Brendan Rodgers took the reins at the club, it feels like there is an exciting project taking place at the King Power stadium. Thus, if the club want to continue the good progress, it will bode them well to keep Tielemans at the East Midlands outfit for many more years.