Express & Star

Leander Dendoncker: Wolves can go far in Europe

Wolves will travel to Turkey, Portugal and Slovakia in the Europa League group stage – and Leander Dendoncker believes they can go far.


Besiktas, Braga and Slovan Bratislava are Wolves’ opponents in Group K, with the top two teams progressing to the last-32 knockout stage.

However, the game at Bratislava is currently being played behind-closed-doors as they have a two-game stadium ban in Europe, meaning fans won’t be able to attend, pending an appeal by the Slovakian club.

Wolves are favourite to top the group after impressively overcoming Italian side Torino 5-3 on aggregate.

Dendoncker scored the crucial second goal on Thursday as Wolves won the second leg 2-1 at Molineux. The midfielder reached the quarter-finals of the competition with former club Anderlecht in 2017. And he thinks Wolves have the quality in their ranks to match that.

“I think so, of course,” the 24-year-old said. “We have to believe in our strength.

“First of course we have to get through the group stage which won’t be easy. We just have to be convinced of our own strength and take it game by game.”

Nuno Espirito Santo was delighted with Wolves’ progress through the qualifiers. Dendoncker agreed with his boss and said: “It is a great accomplishment for this club.

“I think we showed some good things,” he said. “If you see the two games I think we deserved to go to the group stage. We are here now and we just have to keep going. It is not easy because we already had six games in this campaign, we don’t really have a lot of players. It is important to manage well and try and rest well.” Meanwhile Ryan Giles, currently on loan at Shrewsbury, is in the England U20 squad.