Leander Dendoncker may take time to adapt for Wolves
New signing Leander Dendoncker is in line to make his Wolves debut tonight – but is likely to be eased into Premier League life as he gets up to speed.
The 23-year-old Belgium international joined from Anderlecht on deadline day, initially on a season-long loan with Wolves having an obligation to buy him for £12million next summer.
Versatile defender/midfielder Dendoncker has yet to feature in gold and black despite being in training for the past couple of weeks.
However, he could make his debut in this evening when Wolves take on Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
Sporting director Kevin Thelwell told the Express & Star that Dendoncker had been on Wolves’ radar for some time.
“He’s a young talent that lots of people have looked at,” Thelwell said.
“We like his versatility in that he play as a defensive midfielder, on the right of the back three or as a holding centre-back.
“We’d tracked him for a long time and the timing was right for us to get him in.
“It’ll take him a while to adapt because the standard and pace of the Premier League is very different to the Belgian league.
“He went to the World Cup but even though they’d have been training every day they will have been ticking over as opposed to doing physical development.
“It might take him a little while longer to get up to the same physical level as the others.
“But from what we’ve seen we think we’ve got a player who will help us in due course – once he’s settled in we think he’s really going to strengthen the group.”
Wolves signed 10 players in total this summer including Joao Moutinho, who has impressed in the opening weeks.
Thelwell felt the 31-year-old was a ‘perfect fit’ for the club.
“He’s highly technical, excellent on the ball and has unbelievable experience,” he added.
“Getting in players of his quality is very difficult but if you look at the way we play he’s a perfect fit.
“With his experience he’ll be a great addition alongside Ruben Neves.
“We all think of Ruben as being 25 in the way he handles himself but he’s still very young so it’s important to get that balance.”
Kick-off at Hillsborough tonight is 7.45pm