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Arsenal legend backs Mikel Arteta’s pursuit of £25m-rated midfielder

Youri Tielemans - Leicester City
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The Gunners are on the lookout for a new midfielder and appear to have their sights on Youri Tielemans.

Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans ‘would improve any side’, according to former Arsenal striker Alan Smith.

The 25-year-old Belgian, who is out of contract at the King Power in 2023, could be available this summer for an initial transfer fee of around £25 million (€29m).

Various reports have heavily linked Tielemans with Arsenal in recent weeks, a move Smith feels would be a boost for Mikel Arteta’s side.

“It feels to me like they have already said their goodbyes,” he told BookiesBonuses. “I would imagine he will definitely move this summer. I can’t imagine they will wait until next summer and lose him on a free. I think he’ll go.

“Arsenal looks perhaps the most likely, but we’ll wait and see. He has done ever so well for Leicester. This last campaign was flat, but it was for a lot of players there.

“He is a really good player and he will improve any side, I think.”

Since joining Leicester from Monaco in 2019, Tielemans has managed 24 goals and 24 assists in 158 appearances for the Foxes.

The former Anderlecht star played a key role in Leicester’s back-to-back fifth-place finishes in the Premier League between 2020 and 2021. He also scored the match-winner in last year’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea.