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What the stars are saying about Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd target Youri Tielemans

He only made his first team debut this season, but Youri Tielemans is fast emerging as the hottest teenage transfer property on the continent.

The winger, just 16, hasn't looked back since Anderlecht coach John van den Brom threw him into a preseason game against Schalke. He's now a first-choice for Van den Brom and last month became the third youngest to appear in a Champions League. More significantly, Tielemans is the only 16 year-old to be playing in the elite competition this season.

And that has Premier League scouts now flocking to Anderlecht games to run the rule over the exciting talent.

Fast-tracked to Belgium's U21 squad, Tielemans attracted representatives from Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool last week for their defeat in Brussels to Italy.

Belgian football is excited and in recent days the nation's best and brightest have had their say on the prodigy:

John van den Brom (Anderlecht coach): "Scouts are always here in the stands. In the case of Tielemans, I'm pretty confident that he will (leave).

"Youri knows what he wants and attends school now even with his football. The club supports him in it and I think that's fantastic.

"Tielemans remains with his feet on the ground, he is supported by wonderful parents. I am convinced that after the winter (market), Youri will still play with us."

Dennis Praet (Anderlecht midfielder): "I love playing with him. He listens well when I give him advice and he always wants to play football.

"He also can go past players. He just needs to take less risks in his play."

Massimo Bruno (Anderlecht defender): "I barely knew him a year ago and he even still goes to school . But we get along well with eachother. He has impressed me! You should've seen me when I was 16 years of age. I was as thin as a rake - not like him!"

Pär Zetterberg (Swedish legend): "Tielemans is class. When he is on the pitch, it is the best for the team. I would always play him."

Paul Van Himst (Anderlecht legend): "He is ready. End of story. With his ability, he can de-stable any defence. You can play a long ball and he'll reach it. By playing in the Champions League, he will learn from his mistakes and become a better player for it."

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht midfielder): "It is so easy to play with him. Despite his young age, he's responded exceptionally well. It is a pleasure to play with him."

Tomasz Radzinski (ex-Everton star): "He's now confirmed his ability over several weeks. Sorry, but that's not a 16-year-old, he plays like a grown man. Truly a golden talent."

Hugo Broos (ex-Belgium coach): "A guy like Tielemans should have playing options , but you cannot throw him to the wolves right away. His progress is not traditional. You must be careful. After a strong period that has come so smoothly, usually a lesser period happens."

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Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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