Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker produced a performance that was hailed as ‘special’ by his international manager Roberto Martinez.
The 25-year-old started for the Red Devils against the Ivory Coast at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Thursday, helping his side to a 1-1 draw.
Crystal Palace’s on loan striker Michy Batshuayi gave the hosts the lead on 53 minutes, but the Elephants hit back from the penalty spot towards the end through Franck Kessie.
Belgium had the lion’s share of possession, but the game was about even in terms of chances and a draw was probably a fair result.
Wolves enforcer Dendoncker had a good game in the middle of the park alongside Hans Vanaken, and the pair came in for praise from Martinez after the game.
Voetbal Belgie quote him as saying: “Hans Vanaken and Leander Dendoncker were really special. They had a difficult task, because Ivory Coast was an opponent who presented us with many problems and one-on-one situations.
“Hans and Leander liked the spaces and gave us balance. They have the level of international top football.”
Dendoncker’s solid showing for his country follows a great performance alongside Ruben Neves against Fulham last weekend.
Further praise for a vital Wolves player
Martinez’s comments perhaps further strengthen the idea that Dendoncker should be featuring every game for his club.
Wolves have looked much better with him in the starting XI this season – it is no coincidence that the defeats to Manchester City and West Ham United occured (largely) without Dendoncker, who played just 12 minutes against City and didn’t get off the bench in London.
Hopefully, he’ll get some more involvement against England on Sunday and perhaps further prove himself to Nuno Espirito Santo.