Youri Tielemans is the future of Belgian football, says Roberto Martinez

Youri Tielemans is the future of Belgian football, says Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez has described Youri Tielemans as someone who represents the future of Belgium after selecting him in his 23-man World Cup squad.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who presently represents Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, is set to play in his first major international tournament after making the cut.

Highly rated throughout his time playing for his boyhood club Anderlecht, many have tipped the native of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw for big things, a sentiment echoed by Martinez.

“Youri Tielemans is a footballer that represents the future of Belgium. This is part of his journey. He can play different positions and he deserves to be here,” he said.

Tielemans’ journey

A graduate of Anderlecht’s esteemed academy, Tielemans made his professional debut aged 16, and would ultimately feature across no fewer than 185 matches in all competitions for the Brussels-based club registering 35 goals in the process.

Nominally a central midfielder, Tielemans is capable of playing behind the striker, as a deep-lying forward, or just in front of the defence.

His unquestionable talents attracted the attention of a host of European powers including Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, but in the end, he chose to continue his development at newly-crowned French champions Monaco last summer, though Tielemans finished his debut campaign having bagged just one goal across 35 games.