Arsenal urged to sign £49.5m-rated midfielder who Paul Merson thinks is ‘special’

Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has urged his former club to sign Leicester star Youri Tielemans this summer.

The Gunners are expected to strengthen their attack after failing to sign another forward in the wake of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s January move to Barcelona and understands that the Gunners are targeting two forwards this summer. Meanwhile, they’re also targeting a central midfielder, and Parlour thinks that Tielemans – who has been linked with a move to the Emirates for some time – could be the solution.

“I really like Youri Tielemans at Leicester City,” he said as cited by the Daily Star. “I think he’s a great young player and I expect he will be in big demand this summer, especially if he’s actively wanting to move elsewhere. He only has a year left on his contract and maybe Leicester City will want to cash in now rather than risk losing him on a free next year.

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“There’s always questions about how long Xhaka will stay at Arsenal and I think Tielemans would be an excellent long-term replacement. He’s great on the ball and he can pick a killer pass. Tielemans would be an amazing addition to practically any midfield in the Premier League.”

Parlour’s former teammate, Merson, has previously spoken highly about the Belgian midfielder, as he suggested that he could do well for any of the top Premier League teams: “I think he’s special, I really do, I think this kid is a top, top player. The only thing is he’s been working with Brendan [Rodgers] for the last couple of months,” he said back in 2020, as cited by HITC.

“Surely they’re getting into his ear about signing – they’ve got to get his lad signed. I think he can go to any of the top four, or top six. If I was Arsenal or Man United, I’d be looking at him all day long, all day long.” he added. “Even Man City should be looking, I think he’s that good. He’s only young, 21. Wow.”

Tielemans’ current deal at Leicester expires at the end of next season, and the now 24-year-old could be available on a free transfer if the Foxes choose to keep him this summer. That being said, they may try to cash-in on him in just a few months time if a suitable offer arises. Transfermarkt has him valued at £49.5m and Arsenal may be able to tempt the midlands club into selling with an offer in that region.

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