Leander Dendoncker should be kept at Aston Villa next season after filling Boubacar Kamara void - Ty Bracey
Ty Bracey believes Aston Villa should look to keep hold of midfielder Leander Dendoncker for at least another season after impressing under Unai Emery in recent games.
The Belgian international, who signed from Wolves for £12.9million last summer, has been in and out of the Aston Villa side this season due to a combination of ill-timed injuries and the arrival of Boubacar Kamara.
However, in Kamara’s injury absence, the 28-year-old has stepped up for Emery in the middle of the park and delivered a string of impressive performances alongside Douglas Luiz.
Dedconker has now started in each of Aston Villa’s last three games, including the dominant 3-0 win against Newcastle at Villa Park.
Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Aston Villa podcaster Bracey admitted that Dendoncker’s physicality in midfield was a useful trait in an otherwise light-weight Villa side and that he delivered on every word of Emery’s brief so far.
“He’s been playing some good football, he’s been important, and he’s stepped up when we haven’t had Kamara,” he said.
When Dendoncker’s been called upon, he has done exactly what has been asked of him, so I would like for us to hold onto him.
“I don’t think he will start above Dougie and Kamara when they’re both fit, I don’t think that will ever be a scenario, but I do think we will hold onto him, and it is important we hold onto him because on the pitch he has been playing some good football.
“I’d like to see us hold onto him for at least another season.
“He’s a big player compared to the players around him, Dougie and Buendia are small, and we don’t really have the biggest squad in the world.
“Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Diego Carlos aren’t small, so it’s nice to have that physical edge and that big presence in the middle of the field.”
Injury Expert Ben Dinnery has shared that Kamara is expected to return from his ankle injury in the first week of May, which could, in turn, throw Dendoncker’s place in the starting lineup into question.
Either way, after a slow start to life in the West Midlands, fans are starting to see the best of Dendoncker in the middle of the park.