The 21-year-old midfielder, already capped by the Belgium senior team 14 times, joined the Foxes on loan until the end of the season on Thursday from Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco.
A product of Anderlecht’s renowned youth academy, Tielemans has already plied his trade in Belgium and France’s top tiers, and is understandably thrilled with the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
“I’m really excited to get going,” Tielemans told LCFC TV in an exclusive interview. “The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and when I was young, I always watched Premier League games.
“I’m really happy to be here and I’m excited to get started on Sunday – I think every kid dreams about playing in the Premier League.
Tielemans: My Experiences Will Help Me With This New Challenge
New signing Youri Tielemans will call on his experiences as a professional footballer to date during his loan spell in the Premier League at Leicester City.
“I didn’t know that much [about Leicester] before their championship win in 2016. Before that, I didn’t know too much about the Club. I knew recently there was some dramatic events, but I know the Club is really good inside.
“It’s a big family. Everybody is really kind and really good with me. I think it will be really good here.”
Tielemans has already made over 200 senior appearances since making his debut for boyhood club Anderlecht in 2013, and this summer represented his nation in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final.
“I’ve had a lot of experiences in my young career,” the young attacker continued. “I’m 21, but I started when I was 16, so I’ve a lot of memories in football and I think I’m ready for this challenge. Like is said, I’m really excited about it.
Thumbs up from the exciting young attacker as he poses for a signing photo in the home dugout at King Power Stadium.
“I’ve already been part of a World Cup and almost every year I’ve played in the Champions League or the Europa League. It’s a lot of experience that’s coming by and I think it will help me in this new challenge.”
Tielemans says his most successful position is as a box-to-box midfielder, but revealed he can also adapt to different roles if called upon.
“I think it’s (box-to-box) my best position, but I can play in every position in midfield,” he said. “Whenever the coach needs me, I can play in no.6, no.8 or no.10, but it’s true that I’m mostly a box-to-box player.
“I like to attack. I think as a midfielder it’s really dangerous when you have a midfielder coming from the second line and trying to shoot or get into the box. It’s always difficult to defend and I try to add this to me game. I think it will help the team.
Whenever the coach needs me, I can play in no.6, no.8 or no.10, but it’s true that I’m mostly a box-to-box player.Youri Tielemans LCFC TV
“Being in front of the goal is my nature, but I like to defend also, helping the team and being compact. That’s important too.”
Leicester City top the table for minutes earned by players under the age of 22 in the Premier League this season, emphasising the investment in youth that the Club continues to make at the highest level.
It is a statistic that is, of course, welcomed by Tielemans, who made his professional debut at the age of just 16.
“I think it will help my adaptation inside the group,” he said of City’s young squad. “You have also a lot of experienced players around, so I think the mix of both experience and young players can be really good.”
In that City squad are two players he has already faced on the international stage having started in both of Belgium’s World Cup clashes with England in Russia.
He explained: “For England fans it’s not as good a memory as it is for Belgian fans! It was really good to play against them.
Tielemans’ first taste of King Power Stadium’s atmosphere will arrive on Sunday, when Claude Puel’s outfit host in-form Manchester United in the Premier League.
There is a lot of excitement here in this stadium. When I watched the games back in 2016, before the win of the championship, I was really impressed about the atmosphere.Youri Tielemans LCFC TV
While speaking to LCFC TV in the home changing room, he added: “There is a lot of excitement here in this stadium. When I watched the games back in 2016, before the win of the championship, I was really impressed about the atmosphere.
“I’m really excited to know this atmosphere on Sunday.”
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