Wednesday 20 March 2019

Tielemans gives us something different, says Leicester boss Puel

The 21-year-old is on loan with the Foxes for the rest of the season and could feature against Manchester United on Sunday.

Youri Tielemans will hope to be included in the squad on Sunday (Aaron Chown/PA)
Youri Tielemans will hope to be included in the squad on Sunday (Aaron Chown/PA)

By Sean Taylor, Press Association Sport

Leicester boss Claude Puel thinks new signing Youri Tielemans will bring more balance to the team and allow them to attack more effectively.

The Belgium international, 21, has arrived on loan from Monaco in a deal which saw Foxes midfielder Adrien Silva move in the opposite direction.

Tielemans, who featured for Belgium at last summer’s World Cup and has scored five times for Monaco during this campaign, is a player Puel has tracked for some time.

“I am looking forward to working with him,” he said.

“He is different to Adrien but can play box to box as well and give better balance in the team to attack. He gives us other options.

“He has a good shot also and he is a clinical player, he can score and assist. He is an intelligent player. It is good for us to have him in the squad.

“I knew him before at Anderlecht. He was younger then but gave his best always and scored a lot for a midfielder. I hope he has the opportunities to bring that, something different, in games here.”

Tielemans’ loan is a deal until the end of the season and Puel refused to look too far ahead when asked if it could be made into a permanent move.

“He is here for the moment for a loan and the only focus for him and us is to have a good understanding and then see after. We will see how he has adapted at the end of the season, and how Adrien has played at Monaco,” said the Leicester boss.

The Foxes’ other piece of major business before the transfer window closed on Thursday night saw midfielder Andy King, the club’s longest-serving player, leave to join Derby on loan for the remainder of the season.

Puel said: “It is good for Andy to go and get game time and the possibility to show his quality in games. He is a good team-mate and he deserves the chance and I am happy for him.”

Puel will assess Tielemans’ fitness before deciding whether he is involved on Sunday against Manchester United, with the midfielder having already played 35 times for club and country this season.

“We will see. It was his first training session this (Friday) morning,” he said. “It was a good training session with hard work and tempo. I will see tomorrow if he can participate in the squad for the game.”

Leicester face a United side transformed since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is unbeaten during his nine-game reign as temporary manager – winning eight of them.

Puel said: “They have found in this moment a freedom in their play and a lot of confidence. They have a lot of quality so it will be another tough game for us.

“United were a fantastic team with Jose Mourinho and they are a fantastic team now under the new manager.”

Press Association

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