Newcastle United transfer target Youri Tielemans had a night to forget at the World Cup on Wednesday.
The Leicester City midfielder was named in Belgium’s starting lineup to face Canada, where Roberto Martinez’s side won 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Michy Batshuayi.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Red Devils were poor in their first appearance at the tournament, and probably didn’t deserve to win against underdogs Canada. The North American side really impressed in Qatar, even if Toon target Jonathan David underwhelmed.
Canada had plenty of chances to score against Belgium, but couldn’t find a way past Thibaut Courtois. They even missed a penalty, with Alphonso Davies’ spot kick saved by the Real Madrid stopper.
Courtois’ save was celebrated like a goal by Tielemans and co, but the 25-year-old will be eager to move on from his tough evening against Canada.
Youri Tielemans has World Cup shocker amid Newcastle links
Tielemans played in the middle of the park alongside Axel Witsel last night, but seriously struggled. He couldn’t handle the Canadian’s press, and was largely anonymous during the first 45 minutes.
The Foxes ace also had a moment to forget just after half hour mark. Alphonso Davies picked up possession in his own half, and looked to drive at Belgium with his speed, power and skill.
The first player he faced was Tielemans, who he chopped past with ease. In fact, it was so easy for the Bayern Munich flyer that Tielemans was actually left in a heap on the floor. As he lay on the turf, his face was one of despair.
That moment pretty much summed up his first half, and he was taken off at half time to be replaced by Amadou Onana.
It was not a good night for Tielemans, who looks set to leave Leicester very soon. His contract expires next summer, meaning January is Leicester’s last chance to get some money for him.
Newcastle have been linked, and there was previously a report claiming that Eddie Howe’s side will make a bid for him in January. However, Arsenal are reportedly leading the race for his signature.
Tielemans is an excellent player, and could form a lethal partnership with Bruno Guimaraes at St James’ Park. But Dan Ashworth and the Toon decision makers won’t have been impressed with what they saw from their transfer target on Wednesday.