We ‘signed’ Youri Tielemans for Arsenal in January transfer window with fantastic results


Arsenal have recently met with the representatives of Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans according to reports, with the Gunners looking to bring a new midfielder to their squad.

Tielemans has evolved into one of the Premier league’s best midfielders for Leicester over the last few seasons, and according to Goal, the Belgian has been a long-term target for Arsenal, with the club reportedly meeting with the midfielder’s representatives at London Colney to discuss the possibilities of the move.

Even though it looks unlikely that Leicester would let the 24-year-old leave the club this month, the Foxes may look to cash in on Tielemans whilst they can, with the midfielder only having 18 months left on his contract.

Even though it looks unlikely that Leicester would let the 24-year-old leave the club this month, the Foxes may look to cash in on Tielemans whilst they can, with the midfielder only having 18 months left on his contract.

Tielemans joined Leicester on a permanent deal in 2019 after spending the previous season on loan at the Foxes from AS Monaco and has made over 120 appearances in that time.

So, if Tielemans was to make the move to Arsenal in January, what sort of impact could he have on Arteta’s side?

Could the Belgian midfielder help the Gunners qualify for the Champions League?

We simulated the rest of the season with Tielemans in the Gunners’ squad and this is what happened.

We ‘signed’ Youri Tielemans for Arsenal in January 2022

To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2022 editor to arrange for Tielemans to join Arsenal at the start of the January 2022 transfer window, using FM22 to run the simulation.

This is how the 24-year-old’s in-game profile looks on FM22.



Youri Tielemans' in-game profile on FM22.
Youri Tielemans’ in-game profile on FM22.

Tielemans excels in his technical ability with 16 first touch, 18 passing and 17 technique, paired with impressive natural fitness (16) and brilliant composure, decision-making, vision and anticipation attributes that make him one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League.

Let’s take a look at how Tielemans performed throughout the second half of the 2021/22 season after signing for Arsenal in January 2022.

After his move to the Emirates in January, the Belgian midfielder made 21 appearances for the Gunners, scoring twice and registering four assists under Arteta.



Tielemans ranks as the best performing midfielder at Arsenal.
Tielemans ranks as the best performing midfielder at Arsenal.

Tielemans’ pass completion rate (89%) and tackle success rate (83%) ranked him as the second-best Arsenal midfielder in these areas, as the Belgian covered the most distance per match out of any Arsenal player (12.1km).

Tielemans’ average match rating of 7.31 ranks him as the best performing midfielder at Arsenal, ahead of Martin Odegaard and Thomas Partey, as the 24-year-old matched Odegaard with three man of the match awards following his move to north London.

Tielemans’ match rating and goal contributions show that he proved to be influential and effective alongside Thomas Partey in midfield, slotting straight into the starting lineup under Arteta, putting in consistent and quality performances and relegating Granit Xhaka to the substitutes bench.

At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2022 put together an overall best Arsenal XI, based on performances, statistics and other metrics.

This is what Arsenal’s best XI looked like at the end of the 2021/22 season as predicted by Football Manager 2022:



Arsenal's best XI for the 2021/22 season.
Arsenal’s best XI for the 2021/22 season.

Full Arsenal best XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Tielemans; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Aubameyang.

Tielemans was mostly deployed alongside Partey as a holding midfielder in Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 system, supporting the likes of Odegaard, Saka and Smith Rowe in attack.

So, how did Arsenal perform in the league and cup competitions after signing Tielemans in the January transfer window?

Arsenal’s results from the 2021/22 simulation



Arsenal finished third in the Premier League.
Arsenal finished third in the Premier League.

Arsenal finished third in the Premier League in our simulated 2021/22 season, qualifying for the Champions League and finishing in the top four for the first time since the 2015/16 season.

Arsenal finished ahead of Man United and Chelsea as they secured European football for the first time since the 2018/19 season, but still were faced with a huge gap in terms of points to Man City and Liverpool.

Compared to last season, in our simulation Arsenal finished five league positions higher, with 14 more points and a better goal difference by +7 with Tielemans in the squad.

Football Manager predicts that if Arsenal were to sign Youri Tielemans in January, the Belgian would be influential for the Gunners and would improve their Premier League performances, helping them qualify for the Champions League after scoring two goals and registering four assists in his 21 appearances.

Tielemans ranked as the best performing midfielder at the club and was the perfect player to partner Thomas Partey in midfield in Arsenal’s system.

Would you like to see Youri Tielemans sign for Arsenal? Let us know in the comments!





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