Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker has picked up an injury this week while on international duty with Belgium prior to their first Euro 2020 qualifier of this international break.
The print edition of Belgian publication HLN [via Sport Witness] featured quotes from Belgium national team coach Roberto Martinez in which he said that the 24-year-old midfielder “got a kick” and would miss last night’s game away to San Marino.
Dendoncker came to Wolves on loan from Anderlecht in August 2018 but had to wait almost four months to make his Premier League debut against Chelsea and played just 19 league games in his first season at Molineux.
However, after his transfer became permanent this summer, he has become a regular presence in Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, featuring in all 10 matches so far in 2019/20 and starting eight of them.
After the frustration of having a goal against Leicester ruled out by VAR for a contentious handball decision on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, the midfielder got off the mark for 2019/20 by scoring against Torino in the Europa League play-off win at Molineux last week.
In the early weeks of the season, Dendoncker has offered Wolves a very useful presence in the air – his match average of three successful aerial duels inferior only to Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett in Nuno’s squad. [via WhoScored.com]
His passing success rate of 74.2% may not seem spectacular, and is well short of Morgan Gibbs-White’s 90.2%, but it is still better than fellow defensive midfielders Ruben Neves (70.6%) and Romain Saiss (65.6%). [via WhoScored.com]
With one tackle and one interception per game so far this season, Dendoncker has been more effective at breaking up opposition attacks than Saiss (one tackle and 0.5 interceptions per game), but less so than Neves (1.5 tackles and one interception per game). [via WhoScored.com]
From an attacking perspective, the Belgium midfielder has averaged 0.5 key passes per game, which again is lower than Neves’ 0.8 per game average, but Saiss has not posted any so far in 2019/20. [via WhoScored.com]
While Dendoncker has started eight times for Wolves so far this season, Saiss has been limited to only five starts, the Belgian’s performances are probably a factor in the Morocco international being unable to hold down a regular starting berth of late.
Dendoncker may have had to wait a long time to make his Premier League bow last season, but he has since grown into a trusted member of Nuno’s team with a well-rounded midfield skill set and his club manager will surely be hoping that the knock he picked up on international duty won’t cause him to miss Wolves’ upcoming games.
Wolves fans, how big a loss would Dendoncker be if he misses the club’s next match and how have you rated his form this season? Let us know what you think by commenting below!
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