Who is Leander Dendoncker? All you need to know about Wolves’ new signing
Wolverhampton Wanderers have succeeded in signing Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht. The 23-year-old midfielder, who can also play in the defence, has joined Wolves on a season-long loan deal which will become permanent next summer. (Premier League News)
Dendoncker came through Anderlecht’s youth ranks before making his senior debut in 2013. He spent the next five years at his boyhood club, making a total of 171 appearances in all competitions. He scored 11 goals and provided 4 assists in those matches, and was mainly used as a defensive midfielder. However, the youngster can also play as a centre-back when needed.
Dendoncker was part of the Anderlecht team that won the Belgian league title in 2017 and has also lifted the Super Cup on two occasions – in 2013 and 2014. On 4 June 2018, manager Roberto Martínez named Dendoncker in Belgium’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He made his tournament debut on 29th June in a 1–0 win over England at Kaliningrad Stadium. The midfielder has registered a total of 6 caps for Belgium so far.
Back in March, Liverpool were linked with potentially signing Dendoncker as a replacement for the departing Emre Can (h/t Daily Express). However, the Reds opted to go for Naby Keita and Fabinho instead.
Dendoncker is one of the most promising Belgian players. Standing at 6 ft 2 in, he’s a powerfully built player who isn’t afraid to get stuck in challenges.
When playing in the midfield, he protects the back line extremely well, allowing his attack-oriented teammates to enjoy greater freedom up front.
Taking a look at the current Wolves setup, it seems unlikely for him to play as a centre-back. Nuno Santo currently has six players at his disposal for this position, including captain Danny Batth.
Dendoncker, however, could aim to establish a solid midfield partnership with either Ruben Neves or Romain Saiss. His presence in the squad makes Wolverhampton look immensely solid, balanced and dangerous in all areas of the pitch.
“A move to the Premier League is a dream for every footballer. My international teammates say it is the biggest league in the world. They told me to come here and that I would become a better player because playing in the Premier League is like playing Champions League every week. I don’t think that is a lie, because I think the best players are here. This is an ambitious club – that’s what attracts me the most”, said Dendoncker about his move. (Mirror)
The transfer is certainly an excellent deal for all parties involved and the Belgian international will get a chance to prove his qualities among the best in the world.