It's Friday night and the lights are low. A rain-soaked Youri Tielemans has just made it 2-0 Leicester against the ten men of Southampton - in what would turn out to be a record breaking night for the Foxes. 


After a mazy run by the relentless Harvey Barnes, a pitiful attempted clearance from Yan Valery had fallen right into the path of Tielemans, who then struck the ball into the bottom corner in wonderfully precise and authoritative fashion. 


He wheeled off to celebrate, immediately embracing Ayoze Perez, then Ben Chilwell and finally the goals architect, Barnes. After a few moments of adulation from the Foxes faithful, the Leicester players returned to their own half...well most of the them did. Tielemans stuck around.

Youri Tielemans

In a scene reminiscent of something in the New Testament, the Belgian, who was being illuminated divinely by the St. Mary's floodlights, stood with both hands outstretched to the Leicester fans. 


The rain was lashing down, but the Belgian messiah didn't care. This is his moment to show his appreciation for a club who saved him from the now unthinkable...a move to crisis ridden Manchester United.


After impressing on loan at the King Power Stadium during the second half of last season, Tielemans went on the lookout for a permanent move to the Premier League. 


Leicester were of course extremely interested, but due to his irresistible talent and boundless potential, conventional wisdom dictated that the 22-year-old would surely end up at one of the 'top six' clubs.   


​Tottenham were heavily touted as a potential destination but with their pursuit of Tanguy Ndombele consuming much of their time in the summer, a move for Tielemans was always fairly unlikely. 

Youri Tielemans

Much more likely was the possibility of the Belgian signing for ​Manchester United. He fit the profile of what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed was his ideal type of signing. 


Young and hungry, as opposed to over-30 and overpaid was the new Manchester United mantra and with their financial muscle, Tielemans seemed set for a big money move to Old Trafford.


It didn't happen. 

Supposedly, the midfielder was so impressed by his loan spell at the club, he expressed a definitive desire to return ​Leicester permanently, with the Foxes confirming his record £40m transfer in July. 


Surely Tielemans could have been persuaded otherwise? This was Manchester United, the biggest club in the world. Regardless, the powers that be must be regretting not trying harder to secure a deal for the midfielder, as Tielemans is exactly what the Red Devils need right now. 


Central midfield has long been a problem area for United but this season has highlighted the club's weakness in this position more than ever. 

Paul Pogba

Midfielders have been chopped and changed on an almost game-to-game basis. This is partly down to the injury of ​Paul Pogba but the unsettled lineup is also indicative of Solskjaer's confusion as a manager tactically. 


The tediously functional Scott McTominay is the only player who has managed to survive these constant changes. Over the past few games the Scot has been partnered with both Pogba and Nemanja Matic, while he has also formed the base on a midfield three that included Andreas Pereira and Fred.  


The result of this has been to produce a Manchester United side that is devoid of all creativity. Marcus Rashford and the rest of United's frontline have been heavily criticised this season and this is largely unfair. 

FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-MAN UTD

United's shot conversion could certainly be better, yes, but the bigger issue is that they are not creating enough chances from midfield. Solskjaer's side are averaging just 13 shots per game this season - that's less than ​Watford. The same Watford that have yet to register a Premier League victory this campaign. 


This creative impotence is principally explained by a lack of penetrative passing in midfield. McTominay keeps the ball moving perfectly adequately and provides defensive solidity, but beside him needs to be a player capable of breaking the lines. This is where Tielemans could have come in. 


The Belgian is currently leading the league in successful through balls and in fact, he is averaging the same as the whole United team combined per-game. 

Getting the pacy ​Rashford and Daniel James in behind defences will be key if the Red Devils are to recover from their recent shaky form and Tielemans is one of the best creators of these kind of chances in the league. 


The 22-year-old would also offer United greater mobility in midfield. With or without the ball, Tielemans is wonderfully hard-working and evasive, averaging 1.5 dribbles per game and constantly winning his side free kicks with his intelligent maneuvering.


Defensively as well, Tielemans is no slouch. Though Wilfred Ndidi is Leicester's main source of combativeness in midfield, the Belgian is also more than capable of breaking up the play if required. 

Youri Tielemans

He has averaged at least one tackle per-game this campaign, which is more pretty remarkable considering what an advanced-midfield role that he has been deployed in, 


And Solskjaer could have got all of this, for £10m less than what the Red Devils paid Fred? It's incredible really. Youri Tielemans truly is the one that got away for Manchester United.