Youri Tielemans

Tielemans: Why I Chose Leicester

Leicester City's exciting fusion of 'ambition and potential' was at the heart of Youri Tielemans' decision to join the Football Club on a permanent deal.
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Tielemans, 22, signed a four-year contract with the Foxes on Monday and immediately headed out to France to join Brendan Rodgers' men for pre-season in Évian-les-Bains.

Throughout an initial four-month loan spell with the Club last season, the Belgium international stole the hearts of the Blue Army with his exhilarating and expressive playing style.

Now a permanent member of Leicester's first team squad as Rodgers guides the Foxes into their sixth successive Premier League campaign, Tielemans caught up with LCFC TV on Tuesday.

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Brendan Rodgers and Youri Tielemans
Brendan Rodgers and Youri Tielemans

Tielemans linked up with Brendan Rodgers and his team-mates in France on Monday evening.

In a wide-ranging interview, the former Anderlecht and Monaco midfielder discussed the importance of pre-season, the Club's close-knit ethos and his excitement for the 2019/20 season.

With the breathtaking Lake Geneva as a backdrop, Youri began by explaining his decision to join Leicester despite attracting the attention of a host of European football's top clubs.

Asked how it feels to be a permanent Foxes player, he said: "It feels great, honestly, because the second part of the season went very good for me and for the team as well.

I think it’s important to not rush yourself in a decision. For me, it was clear I wanted to make a pre-season with a club I was playing with for the whole season... that's an important thing.

Youri Tielemans LCFC TV

"That’s what I wanted and I wanted to keep it like that – playing in a positive mood and a positive club with a lot of ambition and a lot of potential too. I’m really happy to be here. 

"I’ve let myself [have] some time to think, to get the positive things. For me, after the international break, it was clear for me that I wanted to come here. That’s why we got the deal done.

"I think it’s important to not rush yourself in a decision. For me, it was clear I wanted to make a pre-season with a club I was playing with for the whole season... that's an important thing. 

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Tielemans trained for the first time as a permanent Foxes player in Évian-les-Bains on Tuesday.

"If you are with your club in pre-season, then during the season it will come automatically. It was important for me."

Tielemans flew to Évian on Monday evening to be reacquainted with his team-mates, while he also enjoyed the opportunity to meet new recruits James Justin and Ayoze Pérez.

After quickly settling back into the Évian group, a mix of first team and youth players, the Sint-Pieters-Leeuw-born midfielder then engaged in two sessions on Tuesday.

We have a great partnership and friendship out of the pitch, so it’s really good. It’s important to be, for one full week, with the team.

Youri Tielemans LCFC TV

Reflecting on the warm welcome he received at the Club's hotel, Youri added: "It was fantastic, because I knew everybody.

"There were two or three young guys who came in and two signings, but for the rest of them, it was fantastic to be back with them.

"We have a great partnership and friendship out of the pitch, so it’s really good. It’s important to be, for one full week, with the team.

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

Youri will now remain in France for the remainder of City's pre-season training camp.

"Always being together, we get to know each other on and off the field, so it’s important to have a pre-season camp like this."

Rodgers, meanwhile, labelled the addition of Tielemans - his third summer summer - as 'incredibly exciting' for the Club and Youri says the feeling is mutual between the pair.

"We’ve talked about the season and what he wants from me and what he expects from me," he continued.

I’m here to give myself 100 per cent and to play my best football. I’m just going to enjoy myself and get the legs ready for the rest of the season.

Youri Tielemans LCFC TV

"I know we will make some good progression together and we will enjoy our time together because I’m sure it will go really well. 

"I think I’ve done really well since I’ve been here, but the main thing is always to do better. That’s why I’m here. To make myself better, but also the team too.

"I’m here to give myself 100 per cent and to play my best football. I’m just going to enjoy myself and get the legs ready for the rest of the season."

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Youri Tielemans
Youri Tielemans

The Foxes undertook another two-session training day on Tuesday.

Ending with a message for the fans, Youri acknowledged the Blue Army's affection for him and admitted their calls for him to sign permanently didn't go unnoticed.

"I’d like to thank them all for their kind messages and for everything because they’ve been fantastic since I’ve been here," Tielemans concluded.

"All the songs about me, ‘sign him up’… it’s done! We are all really happy and I hope we’ll enjoy our time together."

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