Youri Tielemans has been Leicester City's lynchpin this season, but he was never supposed to join the club permanently.
The Belgian midfielder became Leicester City's record signing in the summer, joining for a reported £40million after impressing on loan during the second half of last year. However, he has now revealed that the plan was initially for him to return to Monaco.
Speaking to Het Laatste Nieuws, he said: "The initial plan was that I would go back to Monaco after that loan, but because things went so well here, I stayed. The project appealed to me."
Tielemans has been so impressive this season that many pundits have claimed Leicester got a bargain, despite the significant fee. In October, Phil Neville described the transfer as "an absolute steal."
“When an ex-footballer says something like that about you, it’s good. He knows what he’s talking about," Tielemans said.
“The transfer fee itself is not important to me. I knew that Leicester wanted to keep me very much. The coach and the club had made that clear to me.
“Just like they emphasised that Leicester wanted to mix with the big teams again. That it hoped to force European football again."
In the interview, Tielemans was keen not to put all the credit for Leicester's form on Brendan Rodgers.
“It’s all kinds of things. We have a very good coach, experienced players and young players who are hungry to learn and get better."
“It’s the perfect mix in a family environment. Leicester also has that image to the outside world, but it’s only when you play here that you feel how hard this club is connected."
He also paid tribute to Leicester City's former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash last season, saying "that unfortunate, tragic event has brought us even closer together."
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