Wolverhampton Wanderers star Leander Dendoncker has come in for a kind word from former Belgian international striker Gert Verheyen, following his performance against Wales last night.
Dendoncker was handed a full 90 minutes in central midfield alongside Leicester City star Youri Tielemans, for what was his 13th international cap.
Wales actually took the lead through Harry Wilson, but it ended up being a comfortable night’s work for Belgium in the first of their World Cup qualifiers, with Kevin De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard and Romelu Lukaku all on target for the hosts in a 3-1 win.
Dendoncker completed 81/83 passes on the night for an accuracy of 98%, and also won four out of his nine duels (via Sofascore).
He also made four successful tackles which was the most of any player on the pitch.
His performance has gone down well in the Belgian media, with Verheyen putting in a very kind word for the 25-year-old.
Verheyen, who got 50 caps for his country, told Het Nieuwsblad (via Voetbal Primeur): “In recent weeks and months it has been raining suggestions as to who can replace Witsel. We don’t have to look further than Dendoncker, do we?
“Dendoncker played clean, played ahead when possible and handed in balls to those who did have to give risky passes.
“He has the body to go into a tough duel, the walking ability to bridge meters. He did not succeed in avoiding the 0-1, but he was there.
“He has that defensive reflex. Dendoncker has the allure of a Mercedes. Solid and reliable.”
Encouraging words indeed
It is fantastic to read such a verdict on Dendoncker, who could really do with a strong international break.
He has not been in the best form of late for Wolves covering for Willy Boly in defence.
The comments from Verheyen reinforce the idea that Dendoncker is much more effective playing in midfield.
Hopefully he can do well in the next couple of games for Belgium, and arrive back in the Black Country ready to star for Wolves.