To describe Leicester City as a stepping stone would be unfair.
Indeed, this is a Premier League-winning club now regularly fighting for Champions League qualification and the current FA Cup holders to boot, so they are undoubtedly one of the elite clubs in England at the moment.
Still, big players have left the King Power Stadium in the shape of N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire over the last years and, while it’s a testament to their recruitment process that they have been replaced successfully, something similar could happen again.
With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT writers Jonathan Gorrie, Joshua Cole and Sam Brookes have given their verdicts on who would be a bigger loss.
Granted, Tielemans’ importance might go far beyond goals and assists, but Leicester would be losing so much in attack should Maddison leave. Since joining the club in the summer of 2018, no one has come close to registering as many key passes per game than the 24-year-old (via WhoScored) and only Jamie Vardy beats him for shots.
Still yet to reach his prime, selling him now would send the wrong message. A young, English, creative talent, he could feasibly be the key man once Vardy starts to slow down, so watching him hit his peak elsewhere could be gutting.
“In order to continue to build as a club in the coming years, it is imperative that Leicester do not make any rash decisions regarding the futures of some of their star players.
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“Whereas losing James Maddison this summer would unquestionably be a blow, the Foxes could still compete for a Champions League place without him which may not necessarily be the case if they opt to sell Youri Tielemans.
“A stand-out performer for Leicester during the previous campaign, the Belgium international managed to average an incredibly impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.09 in the top-flight which was only bettered by two of his team-mates.
“Tielemans also ranked in the top-five at the King Power Stadium in terms of tackles made per game (2.3), shots per game (1.3) and key passes per match (1.3) as he demonstrated his ability to dominate games.
“Instead of selling the midfielder, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers should instead build a team around him as he has the potential to become world class.”
“In an ideal world, Leicester would want to keep both Maddison and Tielemans. However, if they have to let one go, it should be the former.
“Maddison’s numbers over the last three seasons have been excellent – 38 goal involvements in the Premier League. Yet he has also picked up some injuries along the way, and Leicester have been able to cope without him. There’s also a reason that he only has one international cap. He just needs to add that little something extra to his game to become a truly special player.
“Meanwhile, Tielemans is already at that level. He seems to be the glue in the midfield at Leicester, and he is capable of producing moments of magic, as shown when he netted the winner in last season’s FA Cup final.
“He seems to be getting better and better, while Maddison’s performances stagnated in the second half of 2020/21, and that’s why Leicester should do everything they can to keep hold of Tielemans for now.”
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