Leander Dendoncker is driving force for Wolves

Wolves team-mates have hailed Leander Dendoncker for the impact the Belgian international has made since forcing his way into the side.

Leander Dendoncker in action at Goodison Park (© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY)
Leander Dendoncker in action at Goodison Park (© AMA SPORTS PHOTO AGENCY)

The 23-year-old only made his first league start for the club on December 29, but has been an influential presence in midfield ever since.

Dendoncker scored his first Wolves goal in Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League win against Everton at Goodison Park.

Captain Conor Coady said Dendoncker was a driving force.

“He drives us on, he’s a runner and a powerful boy,” Coady said. “He wants to get on the ball, he wants to win tackles and get forward and get himself in the box.

“What he’s done up to now is fantastic.

“The goal was a lovely volley on his weaker foot.

“He’s a brilliant fella, he really is. He’s fitted into the groups seamlessly, he’s a fantastic lad but more importantly he’s performing on the pitch which is brilliant to see. We’re such a close-knit group that everybody’s made him feel welcome, he’s been brilliant for us.”

‘Seamlessly’ is a word John Ruddy used too when describing how Dendoncker has quickly fitted into the side.

The goalkeeper believes Wolves’ consistent work on the training field – and their similar approach during games in terms of Nuno’s demands – helps any player coming into the team.

“We’ve only got a small squad, we have a trust in each other that whoever needs to come in and do a job, and you’ve also seen it with Romain Saiss coming in for Willy Boly recently.

“Leander’s come in and done brilliantly, we have quality throughout the squad. We’re small but we’re close-knit and we know the roles we require to do.

“The manager’s very consistent in his ideas in terms of how he wants people to play and what he wants you to do.

“We had nine games with successive line-ups at the start of the season, a Premier League record, but no-one in that period felt like they were never going to get an opportunity.

“If you’re outside the XI you know you need to work hard because your chance can come at any moment.

“I use Leander as a prime example – he wasn’t in the squad but his approach to training, his professionalism, and the work he was putting in every day, meant that when he was called upon – out of the blue probably against Chelsea when he played for the first time and then at Wembley against Spurs – it was seamless.

“That’s because of the consistency and the comfort we have as a group in what we’re trying to do and what the manager brings across.

“It speaks volumes everyone is pushing in the right direction.”

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