YOURI TIELEMANS has left European giants like Liverpool gutted – by pledging his long-term future to Leicester City.
But it’s not all good news for boss Brendan Rodgers, who confirmed James Maddison is OUT of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 qualifier with Slavia Prague.
Maddison bagged his 11th goal of the season against Aston Villa on Sunday, in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate, but limped off after just over an hour with a recurrence of the hip injury which he had surgery on during the summer.
Rodgers confirmed his 24-year-old midfield ace is currently in London seeking specialist advice and will miss the tricky second-leg tie and possibly Sunday’s visit of Arsenal.
However, he doesn’t expect Maddison will have to go under the knife again.
“We are confident James doesn’t need anything surgical,” said Rodgers.
“We are having to get the specialists’ opinion and formulate a plan for his recovery and reintegration into the team.
“In terms of Slavia Prague he’ll miss out. But he doesn’t need surgery.
“It’s irritable where he has had the issue before. He’s in London with Brian, our club doctor, getting another opinion so we can collate all the info after that.”
Maddison’s situation made it a sweet and sour build-up to the Europa League clash for Rodgers, who was delighted to hear much-admired midfielder Tielemans pledge his future to the ambitious Foxes.
The Belgium star, 23, is on the radar of every top club in Europe, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp a long-time admirer of a player who made his Champions League debut for Anderlecht aged 16.
However Tielemans is convinced the shock 2016 title winners are on the brink of a new golden era under Rodgers and ready to challenge for all the major honours – at home and in Europe.
He says he is ready to help fire the Foxes into the last 16 of the Europa League with a home win against the Czech champs.
And he revealed he will happily extend his current deal which runs until 2023, with talks currently underway on a new £100,000-a-week deal.
“Why not?” said Tielemans, when asked if he could fulfil his football ambitions without leaving the King Power, or the club’s new state-of-the-art £100million training ground – now arguably the best in Europe.
He said: “This is a club where you have the best environment you can have, especially with the new training ground.
“The people around you just want the best from you. It’s brilliant to be here and I really like it here.
“You can’t predict the future or whether we are ready to win trophies but everything around the club and inside the club is already in place to produce success.”
Rodgers praised Tielemans and revealed he is delighted to have one of the most coveted midfielders in Europe, committed to the cause.
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He said: “It’s great to hear that from any player, let alone a player like Youri who is a top talent.
“Players want to know they are in a place where they can learn and he can see the way the club is developing, in terms of the training facility and of course, the team.”
Likely Leicester XI: (4-2-3-1) Schmeichel; Castagne, Evans, Soyuncu, Thomas; Ndidi, Tielemans; Pereira, Perez, Barnes; Vardy.