The Golden generation of Belgian football continues to produce top talent, while we all know about Lukaku, Hazard, Benteke, Kompany, Courtois and many more, but another player looks set to make it big in the world of football.
Not many would know about Youri Tielemans, but the 18-year-old, already in his third full season with Anderlecht is set to become a big star. He became the youngest Belgian to debut in the UEFA Champions League at the age of 16 and is considered one of the best talents to have come out from the academy at Anderlecht.
A talented midfielder
Tielemans mostly plays down the centre and can play as an attacking midfielder linking up with the forward or even as a defensive midfielder collecting the ball and starting attacks. That is one of his greatest traits, the ability to see a pass and execute it. His performance in midfield isn’t just limited to him making a great pass and finding his teammate.
The ability of Tielemans to be able to make space for himself in the midfield is another great feature of his game. He is extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet and isn’t pressurised as easily as people might think, despite being only 18.
His composure and passing traits are great and should get better over time. However, there are a few avenues of play which he needs to work on while he can pass with both his feet, a great thing for someone this young. He doesn’t have the greatest ability to mark his man. He often loses his positioning when it comes to defending, although he has been working extra hard on this facet of his game since he has often been deployed in a deeper position this season.
Another issue with his game is that he doesn’t score enough goals, even when he is playing higher up the pitch, Tielemans doesn’t get the goals that are expected from someone who is this attack minded. It isn’t a problem of him losing his focus when he gets to these positions, he, in fact, has great ability to finish, but he doesn’t get in those positions a lot.
He also has a lot of leadership qualities as he often takes up the dead-ball delivery and calling for the ball to set up chances and plays. At just 18, he has a lot of time to grow and get better, Anderlecht have a habit of selling their best talent to foreign clubs but hopefully for the development of Tielemans, he can stay and grow in Belgium before he does move to a bigger club outside the country.