Former Anderlecht midfielder, Youri Tielemans, has revealed that he turned down the chance to sign for Arsenal in favour of Monaco this summer.
Tielemans opted to sign for Monaco this summer instead of Arsenal because the 20-year-old didn’t see himself getting into the first team ahead of the Gunners’ current midfielders.
“I knew not much was going to change with Arsenal’s squad,” he said, reports the Mirror.
“Their management wanted to keep the same group of players together in order to finish high in the Premier League.
“I had to be honest with myself and take a look at the midfielders Arsenal have got. They are top-class players.
“I knew that I would not get many first-team chances with them, so I didn’t give any more thought to joining them.
“I never said no to any club. But I made it clear where I wanted to go.”
This makes perfect sense since he’s still young. He primarily plays as a central midfielder, which explains why Arsenal were looking at bringing him on board in the first place, but can also play as an attacking midfielder or in a more defensive position.
If the lad wants to progress, he’s probably better off choosing a team where he can get consistent playing time, which is admittedly unlikely at Arsenal.
The international won Belgian Player of the Year for 2016/17 and scored five goals for Anderlecht in the Europa League last term.
However, after spending his entire career since 2002 with the Belgian team, he decided to leave for France and signed for Monaco for £22m. The young midfielder has already made seven appearances for his new club and scored once in the Champions League against RB Leipzig.
Tielemans is now under contract with the Ligue 1 club until 2022.