Former Wolves man David Edwards feels Leander Dendoncker’s performance in the engine room against Brentford went under the radar.
He wrote in the Express and Star that he understands why goalscorers Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho dominate the praise.
But as a former midfielder himself, he underlined why Dendoncker’s work was so important and may go under the radar.
“There’s rightly a lot of talk about the Portuguese duo, their goals and how they controlled the game, but what I really liked about Saturday’s three-man midfield was Leander Dendoncker,” he wrote. “He does come in for some criticism, I don’t think he’s given enough to Wolves this season, but he was pivotal to how Wolves played at Brentford.
“You look at reviews and what fans think, they don’t quite see it and think ‘he did OK’ but his runs helped make the goals. You need to make those runs with three in midfield.
“He ran all game but the two for the goals, he ran from centrally to the right channel and into the corner, he dragged Ethan Pinnock right out of position and the ball arrives with Moutinho with Brentford’s back three all over the place.
“Then for the second Pontus Jansson comes to cover Dendoncker, leaves a gaping hole and having the midfielders there on the edge of the box to finish, that shows they were there to win that game.Both were gorgeous strikes, top finishes. The Portuguese magicians were magnificent but you can’t leave Dendoncker out of the praise.”
Dendoncker has had to be content with a backup role for much of the season and as Edwards hinted at there, perhaps some of his performances had been slightly underwhelming before Brentford.
But given that Wolves’ midfield is not blessed with power and pace, Dendoncker has sometimes had to be the man who makes the running from the engine room.
That is not perhaps his natural game but he did it well against Brentford and it is interesting to hear from someone who knows what it takes to shine in Wolves’ midfield underline exactly what he did well.
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