English Premiership

Tielemans reveals reason for turning down Arsenal

2017-09-26 13:14
Youri Tielemans (Twitter)

Cape Town - Youri Tielemans says the chance to play regularly convinced him to turn down interest from Arsenal to join Monaco instead.

The 20-year-old starred as Anderlecht won the Belgian Pro League title last season, and after four campaigns with the Purple & White he decided he was ready for a new challenge.

"Monaco was just the best step for me," Tielemans told Het Laatste Nieuws. "I knew that I could secure a place in the midfield because the vice-president had entrusted me with what he was planning.

"I also wanted to start my preparation with my new team, so that I had time to adjust and prove myself to the coach.

"At the end of the Belgian league play-offs I was doing something about it - thanks to our big lead, it was almost certain that we would be champions. And by making a quick choice, before traveling with the national team, I could go without worrying about my future."

Monaco’s transfer window was full of big-name departures such as Bernardo Silva, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, and Kylian Mbappe. Tielemans admitted that "some outgoing moves were certain, but I couldn’t say that at the time" as he looks to become the latest star to make a name for himself in the French principality.

"Could I have gone to the Premier League? Yes, but Monaco was the first and most concrete team," he added.

"I knew there was not much going on with Arsenal’s interest. The board wanted to keep the players they had together to finish higher in the Premier League.

"You must also be honest. When you see the midfielders that are playing at Arsenal... those are top footballers. I knew I would not get a lot of playing opportunities there. That's why I didn't think about it anymore."

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