How can Leicester City replace Youri Tielemans?

It’s looking more and more likely with each passing week that Leicester City will part ways with Youri Tielemans at the end of the season. The Belgian midfielder, who initially arrived on loan from Monaco before making the move to the East Midlands permanent in 2019, has been key to the Foxes’ success under Brendan Rodgers and while the club failed to qualify for the Champions League in consecutive years, the 24-year-old has had no end of suitors from Europe’s senior competition interested in his signature.

This season has been a tough one for Leicester, trying to juggle domestic responsibilities with the Europa and Conference League, of which they find themselves in the semi-finals against Roma and favourites on the betting exchange. However, they simply can’t offer that pull of the Champions League to Tielemans, whose contract at the King Power Stadium expires at the end of next season.

Tielemans has helped the club win the FA Cup and look like a stable top-eight outfit but with just 12 months left it makes sense for the Foxes to cash in on the Belgian rather than lose him for free. The likes of Manchester United and Juventus are interested in a move and with Tielemans commanding a hefty price tag despite his ongoing situation, it will be interesting to see how Rodgers replaces him. Let’s take a look at three options that could arrive in Leicester’s midfield next summer.

Ruben Neves – Wolverhampton Wanderers

When he first burst onto the scene at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship, everyone thought Ruben Neves was destined for a big move. The combative midfielder had a knack for the spectacular in terms of long-range goals and the Portuguese contingent in the Black Country were a breath of fresh air when they initially arrived in the top flight.

However, Neves has struggled for consistency the last couple of seasons and a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs. Leicester have that bit more extra quality than Bruno Lage’s side and with Rodgers’ reputation of developing players, Neves could quickly become one of the best central midfielders in the league plying his trade for the Foxes.

Amadou Haidara – RB Leipzig

In terms of matching the physicality and industry of Tielemans’ game, Amadou Haidara fits the profile perfectly. While a bit shorter than the Belgian, his work rate is perfect for Rodgers’ versatile tactics and while certainly not the finished article, the 24-year-old has bags of potential and could form a formidable partnership with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in years to come. The move would set the Foxes back around £33 million if RB Leipzig are to part with the Mali international, but the Bundesliga side have been known to sell if the money is right.

James Ward-Prowse – Southampton

Renowned as something of a one-club man, James Ward-Prowse has been a stalwart in the Southampton midfield since a 19-year-old, and despite seeing some of the best players develop at St Mary’s before moving on to bigger things, the free-kick specialist has stayed put on the South Coast.

Loyalty will only get the Saints captain so far and if he is to follow Ryan Bertrand and Jannik Vestergaard he’ll have a much better chance of getting in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the World Cup later this year. Southampton are a sinking ship and its only down to Ralph Hasenhüttl that they aren’t drowning in the Championship already. Ward-Prowse can either wallow in mediocrity his whole career or make the move to Leicester as their new number eight.

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