Youri TielemansGETTY

'I really have to bite my tongue' - Youri Tielemans responds to claims he has fallen out with Aston Villa boss Unai Emery as he insists he is up for the 'challenge' of earning starting place

  • Belgian yet to start a league game
  • Admits frustration at lack of minutes
  • Insists ready for 'challenge' of winning place

WHAT HAPPENED? Tielemans has yet to start a Premier League game for Aston Villa after his summer arrival from Leicester and expressed his frustrations at his lack of playing time during the September internationals with Belgium. But in an interview with The Times, the midfielder downplayed talk of a rift between himself and Emery, explaining he understood the exacting demands of his new boss.

WHAT THEY SAID: “It’s a different challenge" said Tielemans. "But I felt like I earned my place at Leicester and that’s what I need to do here. Maybe it takes more time than it took at Leicester but I’ll take that time. I’m working really hard and I’m becoming a better player and whenever I get to start showing that I’m sure everyone will be really happy.”

The 26-year-old was dismissive of reports suggesting he and his manager had fallen out. "I get sent all of that, I see all of that and I laugh because it’s nonsense. The manager has been really supportive since the start and we’ve got a really good professional relationship so sometimes I really have to bite my tongue."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The talented Tielemans has certainly had a tough introduction to life under one of European football's most meticulous and demanding managers. With Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn ahead of him in the midfield pecking order, the Belgian has had to make do with a cameo role in the Europa Conference League where Villa have struggled to recreate their league form.


Unai Emery - Aston Villa 2022/23Getty ImagesYouri Tielemans Aston Villa 2023Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR TIELEMANS AND EMERY? Tielemans will likely be left chomping at the bit on the bench once more when Villa host West Ham on Sunday.