By Peter Lynch

23rd Jun, 2023 | 12:18pm

Youri Tielemans can take Aston Villa to new level, eclipses current midfield stars in two key areas

Youri Tielemans looks set to be a top signing for Aston Villa for various reasons, with the midfielder able to take the club to a new level next season.

The midfielder will officially join Unai Emery’s setup on July 1 after his contract with Leicester City expired, with the Belgian arriving on a four-year deal.

He certainly won’t be the last player to arrive at Villa Park this summer as Emery aims to bolster his squad for next season, but he will be a key player going forward.

It remains to be seen exactly how Emery will fit the Belgian into his team, but the player is certainly capable of having a positive impact all over the pitch. The 26-year-old will provide an attacking outlet for his new club, but his defensive attributes will be equally crucial.

Tielemans demonstrated those defensive capabilities expertly last season, and in hugely positive news for Aston Villa, he eclipsed the club’s current midfield trio of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara in two key areas.

The Belgian averaged 7.47 ball recoveries per 90 minutes in the top flight last season, as per the official Premier League website. The figure is ahead of Kamara (6.37), Luiz (6.05) and McGinn (5.88).

And Tielemans also came out on top when it comes to tackles won, averaging 1.49, compared to Luiz at 1.29, Kamara at 1.26 and McGinna at 1.20.

Such statistics have caught the eye of pundit Adrian Clarke, who wrote for the official Premier League website: “While the 26-year-old is not quick across the ground, he is strong and uses clever game management to good effect when out of possession. Tielemans wins plenty of tackles and regains the ball on average 7.47 times per 90 minutes.

“Villa already boast solid midfielders with defensive strengths, but last season the numbers produced by Tielemans eclipsed those of Emery’s central-midfield regulars.

“Excellent on the ball, tenacious without it and blessed with plenty of Premier League experience, Villa have added a quality player to their side and Tielemans will no doubt strengthen Emery’s starting XI.”

As per SofaScore, only James Maddison (7.33) boasted a higher rating than Tielemans (7.04) at the Foxes last season, with the latter ending the campaign on a high with a team-high rating of 7.6 in the 2-1 win against West Ham on the final day.

In other Aston Villa news, the club would not be in Europe next season without one player who sits top of one key statistics area.