90min
Liverpool

Liverpool consider Youri Tielemans as Georginio Wijnaldum replacement

Robbie Copeland
Liverpool see Tielemans as a potential replacement for Wijnaldum
Liverpool see Tielemans as a potential replacement for Wijnaldum / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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With Georginio Wijnaldum's exit now officially confirmed, Liverpool have got some big shoes to fill. And it's being claimed in Belgium that Youri Tielemans, Leicester City's FA Cup hero, is one of the contenders to fill them.

Wijnaldum has been one of the most consistent players of the Jurgen Klopp era at Liverpool, barely missing a minute of action over his five seasons since joining from Newcastle. He reinvented himself as a dependable central midfielder at Anfield and was described by Klopp as 'the legs, lungs, brain and heart' of Liverpool.

Replacing him was never going to be easy, then, and we've seen everyone from Yves Bissouma to Teun Koopmeiners linked as Klopp looks for a new lieutenant in the engine room.

Tielemans was linked with a move to Anfield prior to his 2018 switch to Leicester, but other than that, his name is a relatively new one on the scene. The links come from Het Nieuwsblad in Belgium, who say that he is on Liverpool's 'list of replacements' for Wijnaldum.

They say that Tielemans feels he may have played his last game for the Foxes, and that is why he was so emotional following their defeat to Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season. Tielemans was seen in tears as he did a lap of the pitch and applauded the returning Leicester fans.

They say that Tielemans has ambitions to play at the highest level, and if he can't do that at Leicester then he is prepared to move on. Were Liverpool to come in with an acceptable offer, then, it seems likely he would consider a switch to Anfield.

The problem is that Liverpool aren't entirely likely to agree with Leicester on what constitutes an acceptable offer. The Reds have been relatively tight-fisted with their budget, and have largely attempted to balance the books in recent seasons. Meanwhile, the Foxes are under no immediate pressure to sell Tielemans, given he is contracted for another two years.

He has been a central player to Brendan Rodgers, as his stunning winner in the FA Cup final against Chelsea showed, and they won't be keen to let him go on the cheap.

But if Tielemans does decide he wants to move on, then Leicester may decide to sell now while they can still achieve a reasonable price - rather than wait a year and risk him running down his contract.

Tielemans, who joined Rodgers' side for around £32m, has scored nine times and assisted six in his 51 appearances for Leicester this season.

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