By Anthony Onifade

28th Sep, 2023 | 2:10pm

Aston Villa may now look to sell Leander Dendoncker in January transfer window after shocker v Everton, Unai Emery won't start him again

Leander Dendoncker was a rare starter for Aston Villa as they suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Everton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, 27 September.

Goals from James Garner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s second in as many games stunned Aston Villa at Villa Park to reach the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Substitute Boubacar Kamara’s strike deflected in with seven minutes remaining to make it a nervy finish but the hosts could not find the equaliser and were punished by a flat atmosphere with vast banks of empty seats.

Defeat means Villa’s 10-game winning streak at home was brought to a shuddering halt and ended their five-game winning streak over their opponents.

Aston Villa made six changes to the side that won 1-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the weekend – and one player whom Unai Emery will not have been impressed by after handing him a much-needed start was Dendoncker.

The 28-year-old former Wolves man, who appeared to be on his way out in the summer transfer window, stayed put as a move to Everton (Le Parisien, 1 September) failed to materialise.

Dendoncker is yet to start in the Premier League this season for Villa, with his only Villa Park appearances coming as a second-half substitute in the second leg of the Europa Conference League qualifier win against Hibernian on 31 August and against Chelsea.

The ex-Wolves midfielder was a bit-part player last season too as he made just seven Premier League starts for both Steven Gerrard and Emery and was heavily linked with a move away from Villa Park all summer.

Turkish news outlet Takvim reported on 13 September that Dendoncker had been recommended to Fenerbahce as they desperately sought out midfield reinforcements before the Turkish transfer deadline on Friday 15 September, however, he remained at Villa Park and was included in Emery’s 25-man squad [Birmingham Live, 13 September].

While that may have pointed to some involvement in the near future for Dendoncker, his squad status was still unclear, especially with the likes of Douglas Luiz, John McGinn Boubacar Kamara and summer signing Youri Tielemans above him in the midfield pecking order.

However, in his first start for the Villains, Dendoncker failed to take his opportunity and it may be that Emery doesn’t start him again after such a shocking and absent performance.

As per SofaScore, in his 45 minutes on the pitch against Everton, the Belgian barely touched the ball with just 33 touches, won 0% of his ground duels, failed to win a single tackle, block or interception, lost possession of the ball four times before being rightly hauled off by Emery at half-time pointing to him now becoming a certainty to no longer feature from the off again.

With still a few more months until the January transfer window, it remains to be seen when the Belgian international will feature for Aston Villa again and his performance on Wednesday was of a player who already has his head elsewhere.

There’s now a good chance that once the window reopens in January, Aston Villa will finally look to cash in on his services.

In other Aston Villa news, a pundit has been blown away by one player’s development.