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Wolves: Leander Dendoncker hailed by Roberto Martinez for Belgium display

Wolves: Leander Dendoncker hailed by Roberto Martinez for Belgium display

Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker has been commended by Belgium manager Roberto Martinez for his performance against Scotland this week.

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Wolves Bite reported quotes from Martinez in which he hailed the 24-year-old’s display in Belgium’s 4-0 win at Hampden Park in Euro 2020 qualifying after coming into the team for the injured Axel Witsel.

Martinez was happy with how Dendoncker and Youri Tielemans exploited space in the midfield and provided a platform for Belgium’s front players, with Kevin De Bruyne scoring one goal and setting up the other three. [via Wolves Bite]

The Belgium manager said: “Dendoncker has already done an excellent job against Russia and Cyprus. We now have an extra player who is knocking on the door.” [via Wolves Bite]

Dendoncker has been a regular presence in Wolves’ team so far this season, starting eight of their 10 games and coming on as a substitute in the other two. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]

The Belgium international has generally been a solid presence in the base of midfield for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team in 2019/20, posting match averages of three successful aerial duels, one successful tackle, one interception, 0.8 clearances and 0.3 blocks, as well as having a 74.2% passing success rate. [via WhoScored.com]

He has been one of Wolves’ strongest players in the air in recent weeks, with his aerial duels average topped only by centre-backs Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett, while he has been more efficient with his ball distribution than fellow defensive midfielders Ruben Neves (70.6% passing accuracy) and Romain Saiss (65.6%). [via WhoScored.com]

However, he has occasionally been culpable of poor defensive moments – in the recent defeat to Everton, his inability to stop Lucas Digne’s cross for Richarlison’s winning goal was criticised by Jermaine Jenas on Match of the Day 2. [via Wolves Bite]

Also, Dendoncker trails team-mate Neves for several metrics, including tackles per game (one v 1.5), key passes per game (0.5 v 0.8) and clearances per game (0.8 v two). Neves has also scored more goals than the Belgium midfielder for Wolves this season, with two to Dendoncker’s one.

Dendoncker has, though, recorded more interceptions per game than Romain Saiss (0.5 match average), while the Morocco midfielder has not played any key passes or made any blocks.

Dendoncker seems to have put his fateful error against Everton behind him with an assured display for Belgium against Scotland and his statistics for Wolves this season have been reasonably good.

While he might not be quite at Neves’ level statistically, Dendoncker has grown into an important member of Wolves’ line-up, as reflected in his frequent presence in the starting XI, and looks set to continue playing a valuable role for them this season.

Wolves fans, how do you rate Dendoncker’s performance against Scotland on Monday and do you think he can maintain that form at club level throughout the season? Let us know your views in the comments section below!

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