Top international Chelsea scout Tony White has been attending Anderlecht matches this season to run the rule over two of the Belgian club’s best young players: Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker.
This is according to reliable Belgian newspaper HLN - and brought to our attention by respected journalist Kristof Terreur - who understand Chelsea are paying close attention to the midfield duo.
Chelsea have signed several major talents from Belgium over recent years - including Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku - and could attempt to add Tielemans and Dendoncker to their ranks in the near future.
Dendoncker, 19, is a gifted holding midfielder who has represented Belgium at Under-21 level. He has made 16 appearances in the Belgian top flight this season, scoring two goals in the process.
But it’s 17-year-old Tielemans who is widely regarded as Belgium’s next potential superstar.
Tielemans: Superstar in the making
The technically-gifted midfielder was named as the Young Football of the Year in Belgium last season after scoring two goals in 35 appearances for Anderlecht, who won their domestic league title.
Tielemans was also named as 2014’s Belgian Talent of the Year thanks to his eye-catching displays.
Named by the Guardian in October as one of the 40 best young players in world football, it’s clear that the Belgium Under-21 international has a big future in the game.
Liverpool have also been linked with the midfielder, who was described as a “super player” by Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp earlier this season.
Chelsea may need to pay big money
In order to win the race for Tielemans’ signature, Chelsea will need to act swiftly, with interest in the player set to intensify as the year progresses.
Arguably Anderlecht’s best young player since Lukaku, who made a major impact for the Belgian club after making his professional debut 11 days after his 16th birthday, Tielemans may end up costing a similar fee.
Chelsea signed Lukaku in August 2011 for £18 million, but sold him last summer to Everton for £28 million after Jose Mourinho decided to purchase Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid.
Tielemans and Dendoncker must think carefully
Like all talented youngsters on Chelsea’s radar, Tielemans and Dendoncker will need to weigh up whether the truly believe they stand any realistic chance of forcing their way into the Blues’ first eleven before agreeing to make the move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea currently have 25 players out on loan - including established internationals - after Thorgan Hazard, another Belgian starlet and the the younger brother of Eden, agreed to join Borussia Mönchengladbach on a permanent deal last week.
The majority of players currently out on loan from Stamford Bridge will never make it into Chelsea’s starting line-up - but one suspects the hugely talented Tielemans does stand a chance of making it to the very top.
Less is known about Dendoncker, but Chelsea’s top scouts will be sure to recommend him to Mourinho if they feel he has a future at Stamford Bridge.
Should Chelsea attempt to sign either Tielemans and Dendoncker? Can you tell us anything new about the two starlets in question? Leave a comment in the box below!
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