By Mark Smith

5th Oct, 2023 | 7:08pm

Leander Dendoncker in last-chance saloon for Aston Villa v Zrinjski Mostar

Aston Villa welcomes European football back to Villa Park on Thursday 5 October with a Conference League clash against Zrinjski Mostar.

Unai Emery has gone strong with his team selection for the game, but one or two names do raise eyebrows after the opening matchday defeat in the competition.

Leander Dendoncker is one of those who may be on his final chance in a Villa shirt, after failing to impress one too many times in all competitions now.

Dendoncker has only featured twice off the bench in the Premier League so far this season, with those two appearances bringing him two minutes of action.

Outside of that, the 28-year-old started the EFL Cup defeat to Everton as he was snubbed in that defeat against Legia Warsaw over in Poland.

Given his performance against Everton, it is a surprise that Emery has trusted him again after he only played 45 minutes but failed to win any of his ground duels at 0% [Sofa Score].

On top of that, despite only touching the ball 33 times, he lost possession of the ball four times which is simply not good enough given he is in midfield to recycle the ball.

Dendoncker also failed to make a single tackle, interception or block in that defeat to the Toffees, and his influence was simply non-existent in the end.

Another performance like this against Zrinjski on Thursday could see him phased out of the club, with the likes of Youri Tielemans, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara leaving him behind.

In other Aston Villa news, a senior first-team player recently risked being out for 3 months with a leg break and artery damage.