Wolves have made a bit of an underwhelming start to 2022/23 – but Leander Dendoncker can personally hold his head high after his two showings so far.
Bruno Lage is overseeing a transition at Molineux, with the team now playing with four at the back rather than a back three.
The system is looking good.
Nathan Collins and Maximilian Kilman look really good as a pairing. And Wolves have been able to create quite a lot of chances across their two games so far.
Sadly though, there has again been a lack of a cutting edge in the final third.
Hopefully that will no longer be an issue in a few weeks’ time once the players are more comfortable in the new formation, and Lage is actually able to field a natural striker again.
It may only be one point from two games, but there are positives to take.
And it has been refreshing to see Dendoncker make a really good start to the new season.
The Belgium international has tended to divide opinion since his arrival at Wolves.
Arguably, he has lacked consistency during his time with the club. But perhaps that has been down to rarely playing the same role – something he himself has suggested.
But £12 million star Dendoncker has definitely made a great start to the new season and it should be highlighted.
Against Fulham, he made the most interceptions of any player in the game (4, via Sofascore). And he was also pretty good in possession, completing 34/40 (85%) passes.
Against Leeds United the weekend before, he made five interceptions, which again was the most of any player in the match. And according to Squawka, no player in the division made more than that across the whole gameweek.
With nine interceptions across his two games, he currently sits joint-top for that category in the Premier League with Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana.
Leander Dendoncker has started well for Wolves and may keep Joao Moutinho waiting for first start
With Moutinho currently out injured, this is a big opportunity for Dendoncker to stake his claim to be a regular starter.
Lage hopes the veteran will be out for days rather than weeks. So it’s possible he could be available for selection again soon.
But should he be available to face Tottenham Hotspur next weekend, then Dendoncker doesn’t deserve to lose his starting berth.
The star has been showing impressive steel, tenacity and energy so far.
While Wolves have disappointingly only take a point from their first two games, Dendoncker has probably been one of the best performers.