Nuno Espirito Santo has sang the praises of midfielder Leander Dendoncker and suggested he is now a vital cog in the machine.

The Belgium international put pen to paper on a new contract at Molineux yesterday to delight supporters.

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He follows in the footsteps of Nuno himself, Raul Jimenez, Conor Coady, Pedro Neto and Max Kilman, who have all committed their futures to the club in the second half of 2020.

£12 million signing Dendoncker (talkSPORT) has seemingly been rewarded for his growing stature within the squad.

This season, barring a couple of games at the beginning, the 25-year-old has been a mainstay in the starting XI, with Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho rotating beside him.

Speaking about Dendoncker, Nuno said (official website): “He’s important. You can see by the number of games that he’s been involved in. What he gives to the team is huge for us. He’s a talented player, a hard worker and a fantastic boy. He’s huge and very important for us.

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“Not only Leander, all the team must realise we must find solutions, occupying areas of the pitch Raul [Jimenez] gave us naturally, it requires adaptation and an extra effort from a lot of players, to try and engage in the box. Leander does that fantastically well.”

Time for Dendoncker to add goals

His presence in the midfield is good and the manager clearly rates him highly, but it’s probably about time Dendoncker upped his goal output.

Good box-to-box midfielders tend to chip in semi-regularly, and the former Anderlecht star has it in him, he just needs to be more assured in the final third – he’s definitely had a few chances so far in 2020/21 to get off the mark.

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