Youri Tielemans may already have summer Aston Villa transfer regret, holds a long road to convince Unai Emery again
Aston Villa summer signing Youri Tielemans may already be regretting his decision to sign up at Villa Park after some worrying performances in recent weeks.
The Belgian international joined on a free transfer on 1 July after his contract at Leicester City expired, signing on a four-year deal which was said to be an expensive pay package.
The midfielder had been highly sought after for a number of years by several big clubs, but Emery persuaded him to make the move to the Villans after qualifying for the Europa Conference League last season.
However, a few months on the established Premier League midfielder has struggled in his new surroundings not just because of a lack of starts in his new team but because of some below-par performances when given the opportunity.
The Belgian made clear his dissatisfaction at how he is being used by Unai Emery since his arrival from Leicester City in the summer when speaking to the media on international duty [DH les Sports, 8 September], having only been handed late substitute appearances in the Premier League.
His lack of starts has been warranted with Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamar establishing themselves as Emery’s favoured midfield pairing right from his appointment in October 2022, which meant it will indeed take a bit of time for Tielemans to break into the team on a regular basis.
However, when given the opportunity, the former Leicester City maestro has failed to convince Emery that he is a worthy regular in his starting eleven, giving the indication that he may already be regretting his transfer decision.
The Belgian international was handed just his third start for Villa against Everton on Wednesday (27 September) as Unai Emery looked to hand him the opportunity to impress against the Toffees but failed to deliver again after a disappointing showing when given the chance against Legia Warsaw in the Europa Conference League.
Tielemans was handed a 5.9 rating by SofaScore – the lowest of any player on the pitch – to show just how poor of an evening it was for him.
He had 62 touches and registered an impressive 93 per cent pass success rate, but he only made one key pass and didn’t complete any successful dribbles as he offered little going forward.
The midfielder lost possession 11 times while he was on the field and one of those occasions saw him play a poor ball short of Ezri Konsa, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin reaching it first to put his side 2-0 ahead.
He had three shots but failed to hit the target, made three fouls and only came out on top in two of the nine duels at a rate of 20% – a pretty poor return for a central midfielder of his class and qualities.
There’s a case to argue that Tielemans did not need a settling-in period at Villa Park given his experience and performances for Leicester City over the span of four seasons at the top level but given how he’s started off in the West Midlands, it may be a while yet before the Villa Park faithful see some favourable return on the club’s expensive investment.
Still got a long way to before he convinces Emery that he’s a worthy contender for Kamara and Luiz’s spots.
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