Liverpool supporters ‘would probably’ see Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans ‘as an upgrade on Naby Keita’, journalist Pete O’Rourke has suggested to GIVEMESPORT.
The Reds are expected to overhaul their engine room in the upcoming transfer window following their struggles this season, and Tielemans could be one of several arrivals.
Liverpool transfer news – Youri Tielemans
According to Football Insider, Liverpool are ‘plotting a move’ for the Belgium international ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer.
Tielemans’ current £120,000-per-week contract is due to expire in under six months’ time, and he’s expected to leave Leicester on a free transfer as a result.
However, Liverpool are far from the only club credited with an interest in his services as Arsenal, Newcastle United, and Barcelona have also been named among his potential suitors.
And Keita is in a similar position with his contract also set to expire at the end of June, and Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg has claimed he’s set to seek pastures new next term.
Jurgen Klopp, therefore, could view Tielemans as Keita’s ideal heir at Anfield, and a natural replacement for the injury-prone star.
What has O’Rourke said about Tielemans?
O’Rourke has told GMS that Liverpool fans may view Tielemans as a superior player than Keita and that he ‘wouldn’t be the worst signing’.
He said: “I think for Liverpool fans, they would probably regard Youri Tielemans as an upgrade on Naby Keita because he just hasn’t been consistent enough for Liverpool since his arrival at the club.
“He’s had so many injury problems that we’ve not seen the best of Naby Keita, and he does look like he will be leaving in the summer.
“So, it’d be a direct replacement, Youri Tielemans, and wouldn’t be the worst signing in the world and could be somebody who I think Liverpool fans would probably see as an upgrade.”
How has Tielemans been playing?
Tielemans is perhaps not enjoying his most productive season in a Leicester shirt, but he has still racked up five goal contributions in 29 appearances across all competitions.
As per FBref, the creative talent has also ranked in the 90th percentile for blocks, 88th for progressive passes and expected assists, 86th for attempted passes, 84th for shot-creating actions, and 82nd for tackles among his positional peers over the last year.
Whether Tielemans is viewed as an ideal fit for Liverpool remains to be seen, but he could be an outstanding value-for-money acquisition by Klopp.