By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

19th Nov, 2023 | 8:10pm

Aston Villa: Journalist shares how 'brilliant' Youri Tielemans has changed Unai Emery's mind after what he did

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

Youri Tielemans was unfortunate to not be named as the Aston Villa man of the match following his performance against Fulham, according to Dan Bardell.

The Belgian international made his first start in the Premier League for Villa against the Cottagers on 12 November as he helped his side secure a 3-1 victory.

The 26-year-old, who has struggled to break into the first team since arriving from Leicester City over the summer, put in an excellent display as he played the full 90 minutes at Villa Park.

Bardell believes Tielemans has now figured out what Villans boss Unai Emery expects from in an advanced midfield role and that he could now have thrown his hat into the ring to play more regularly.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I think with Moreno and Ramsey being out for virtually the whole season, Villa have had a core 10 of players that they’ve picked in Premier League games.

“Sometimes that’s been Diego Carlos at centre-back and Matty Cash has moved forward into midfield, sometimes it’s been Bailey or Zaniolo, but that rest of the team has been pretty much the same throughout the whole season. It was interesting that Tielemans almost became another one of those options as the 11th man against Fulham.

“I think he’s found it difficult since he’s come to Villa because he’s a really high-level player, but he’s probably a player that relies on rhythm quite a bit and he was coming on as sub only in the Premier League games and starting Cup games in disjointed sides.

“He never seemed to get himself going despite showing flashes that he’s a brilliant player. He came on as a sub against Crystal Palace and changed that game, but I think it’s difficult when you’re not playing every week.

“I was really pleased to see him line up with Villa’s best 11 for the first time in the Premier League and I thought he acquitted himself really well. Maybe when he first came he didn’t get what Emery wanted from that position, but you could see he now knows what Emery wants and expects from a player in that position.

“From minute one, he was heavily involved and he was quite unfortunate that John McGinn had the game of his life in the first half because he would’ve been man of the match otherwise. It’s a positive and he’s thrown his hat in the ring to play that position now.” 

In other Aston Villa news, a journalist is thrilled after a better-late-than-never development has emerged.