It does seem obvious to pick Youri Tielemans as a key player amongst this batch of midweek fixtures, but in my opinion, there were 3 Pro League matches with significance at both ends of the table, as the top 3 play the bottom 3 this week.
The reason, however, that I have chosen to write about Tielemans is that at his age, he is showing leadership and maturity which was shown on Sunday as he isn’t only the penalty taker for Anderlecht, but after missing a penalty and converting the follow up in the first half, he had the bravery to want to step up and duly convert his second penalty of the match without hesitation, regardless of if he is designated or not.
With 6 goals this season, albeit the majority have come from the penalty spot, and 3 assists in the league this season, he has played a key part in a title chasing team with real pressure placed on them throughout the season as the capital club are once again fighting for the title, whether with old foes or new rivals.
At 19 he has been an integral part and has been around the first team for four years now, working his way into the first team.
The reason for why, like I stated at the top, I have chosen Tielemans because out of the other total chasers, they are away at Westerlo, which on paper looks a comfortable victory but is far from it. Westerlo have not only started the year well with a late 2-1 away win, but they on a 3 match unbeaten run in the league and defeated Anderlecht at the Constant Vanden Stock back in September.
Labelled by some as a Belgian Zinedine Zidane, he has a long way to go domestically and internationally and in my opinion, staying at Anderlecht either for as long as he wants or as long as he needs is best for him. Yes players should always progress when they can, but too many will also say don’t move to early. Tielemans is linked with Anderlecht as he is coming into his 15th year with the club from Brussels from boy…To still a boy really, in life and as a footballer, but amongst men and playing as a man as his booking tally will show that he isn’t reckless, but definitely commited!
There is always room to improve but I’m sure, and this isn’t any disrespect to certain players mentioned here, but he’d rather turn into the next Lukaku or Kompany rather than the next Defour or Vanden Borre. That’s not to say they aren’t progressing but Kompany is loved at Manchester City and Lukaku still has the potential to achieve anything. Another example is Mitrovic who maybe potentially misguided, but relegated at Newcastle to still being on the bench occasionally with them in the second tier surely isn’t what Tielemans envisions.
But before all of that, his main objective is staying fit, progressing and aiding Anderlecht in the Pro League, starting away at Westerlo.