FA Cup

Tielemans' performance against Stoke showed just how important he is to Leicester City this season

The Belgium international has developed into one of the finest box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League in recent seasons

7:23pm on Saturday 9th January 2021
Stefan Bienkowski

Leicester City made short work of their FA Cup third round tie against Stoke City, with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Michael O'Neill’s Championship side.

At the heart of the impressive performance was box-to-box midfielder Youri Tielemans, who has made a habit of stepping up in big games for Brendan Rodgers’ this season.

Along with his assist in the second half of Saturday’s game, Tielemans has also scored goals against Newcastle United, Leeds United and Manchester City in this season’s Premier League.

When it comes to all-round midfielders in the English game this season, few can rival Tielemans’ performances at the King Power Stadium and his stats prove it.

A dominant performance against Stoke

While Leicester were always favourites to win their FA Cup tie against a Stoke side that had won just one of their last eight games, that doesn’t take away from just how impressive Tielemans was at the Britannia.

Not only did Tielemens have more touches of the ball than any other player on the pitch on Saturday, but he also attempted the most amount of passes too. From the centre of the pitch the 23-year-old midfielder dictated his side’s play and made sure every attack went through him.

Indeed, when it came to passes into the final third only two Leicester City players made more passes than Tielemans. And when we couple that with his fantastic assists for Marc Albrighton in the 59th minute it showcases just how impressive the Belgian midfielder can be.

Of course, in true box-to-box style, Tielemans was also just as impressive defensively. Not only was the player top among all players on the pitch for recoveries, but he was also second only to defenders Jonny Evans and Wesley Fofana for the amount of successful defensive duels he won.

23 yrs - DM, AM (C) - Leicester City
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
Played matches
Total Shots P90
Shots on target P90
Tackles Won P90
Touches P90
Final third passes P90

A leading contender for Leicester’s player of the season?

Although a simple win in the FA Cup may not be the best example of what Leicester can do in better competitions, Tielemans’ performance was a useful microcosm of his season as a whole and just how impressive he’s been for Rodgers in bigger tournaments.

For example, in this season’s Premier League the Belgium international averages two tackles per game, which puts him fifth among his Leicester team mates. He’s also third for average recoveries per match.

In terms of the player’s attacking intent, an average of 19.4 passes to the final third per 90 Premier League minutes puts him second only to James Maddison. While an average of 65.6 passes P90 is third only to Christian Fuchs and Caglar Soyuncu.

The midfielder also sits seventh when it comes to shots per game and sixth when it comes to shots on target per game. And four goals in the English top flight this season has him sitting behind only Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes in terms of actually putting the ball in the back of the net.

Tielemans’ value to Leicester is that he can do a bit of everything. And that’s exactly why he was so pivotal against Stoke and continues to be one of Rodgers’ most trusted players in the Premier League this season.

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