Aston Villa: 'Outstanding' £13m star can 'stake his claim' at Villa Park

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard instructing on the touchline

Aston Villa signing Leander Dendoncker can really stake a claim for a place at Villa Park after the international break, believes BirminghamLive journalist Ashley Preece.

The midfielder joined the Midlands club from Wolves in a £13m deal during the summer transfer window but is yet to cement a spot in Steven Gerrard’s side.

GiveMeSport The Verdict
GiveMeSport The Verdict

How many league games has Dendoncker played so far this season?

Since signing for Villa, Dendoncker has played five times in the Premier League. However, only two of his outings were starts.

The Belgian, though, could be in for more game time once club football returns following Boubacar Kamara’s injury.

Kamara had started all seven of Villa’s league fixtures before the international break but is now set for a long spell on the sidelines after damaging his knee ligament in the 1-0 win against Southampton.

“It seems like every time we get three points it comes with a cost,” Gerrard said (via BBC Sport) after the game.

What has Preece said about Dendoncker?

While losing Kamara is obviously a blow, it could present Dendoncker with an opportunity to nail down a spot in Villa’s first XI.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about the 27-year-old, Preece said: “Maybe Dendoncker can really stake his claim. I did like his work at Wolves, Dendoncker, and I think he could be a bit of a shrewd signing and could start more games than not this season. So I’m excited to see Dendoncker.”

Can Dendoncker make an impact at Villa Park this season?

Without question. Capable of playing in midfield and defence, the 6 foot 2 Belgian should prove to be a very useful asset to Gerrard.

Over the last year, Dendoncker has ranked in the 92nd percentile for blocks among his positional peers (via FBref), so he is someone who is not afraid to put his body on the line for his side.

He can also be quite effective in possession, with journalist Ryan Baldi describing him as “outstanding” when it comes to spreading play and picking out team-mates in space.

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For £13m, as Preece said, the Belgium international could end up being a shrewd signing for the Villans.

Dendoncker now probably just needs a run in the team and, with Kamara now out injured, he could be about to get one.

Ultimately, the former Wolves man looks set to get a real chance to prove himself at Villa Park and, from his perspective, hopefully he takes it.

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