By Anthony Onifade

17th Nov, 2023 | 2:10pm

Leander Dendoncker will be jealous of Youri Tielemans revival at Aston Villa and Belgium, January exit necessary

Aston Villa midfielder Leander Dendoncker will have been watching Youri Tielemans’ revival at both club and international level with much envy making a January extremely necessary.

Tielemans has struggled for game time since joining the Villans on a free transfer in the summer from Leicester City and the 3-1 win over Fulham on Sunday (12 November) was his first Premier League start since.

The same can be said for Dendoncker who has been an unfortunate afterthought at Villa Park and may well be considered no longer part of Unai Emery’s plans [Sacha Tavolieri, 16 November].

The former Wolves midfielder has seen his international teammate Tielemans thrive in recent weeks following his own struggles at Villa Park.

In the clash against Fulham, Tielemans was imperious at both ends of the pitch. He recorded a key pass and created a big chance, had a shot on target, and drew four fouls to ease the pressure on his team and give them set-piece opportunities high up. [Sofascore]

The Belgian also won seven of his 11 attempted duels, with a 100% success rate in the air, making two interceptions and one tackle and he proved to his boss he could provide assistance both going forward and in defence.

For his country, this past week in a 1-0 win over Serbia on Wednesday night (15 November), he showcased why Aston Villa fans have been calling for him to start more games under Emery.

As per SofaScore, the midfield maestro successfully completed 83% of his passes, recorded four key passes, created two big chances, won five ground duels, successfully completed two of his three long balls, won three fouls and won two tackles in a complete display.

Dendoncker himself is a fully-fledged Belgium international having made 32 caps for his country so far but right now he is seeing the likes of his club teammate Tielemans, Everton’s Amadou Onana and even a young Arthur Vermeeren take his spot in Roberto Martinez’s squad and there is no way he’d have a route back in should his B6 nightmare continue.

His only starts have come in the Carabao Cup and the Conference League where there has been little to suggest that Premier League suitors will be queuing up to sign him this January. Against Everton, the Belgian was hooked after 45 minutes having failed to win a single duel or tackle in the clash, while only two of his 26 passes were into the final third [Fotmob].

Against Zrinjski Mostar the same was true again as the 28-year-old registered 0% of his tackles or ground duels in the match and managed to find a teammate in the final third twice before once again being hauled off at halftime by Emery.

The 28-year-old appeared to be on his way out in the summer transfer window but stayed put as a move to Everton (Le Parisien, 1 September) failed to materialise – a decision he may very much be regretting right now.

The sight of Tielemans firing on all cylinders while he is rotting in obscurity both at club and international level certainly makes an exit in January his best and most decisive option.

In other Aston Villa news, a January exit decision has been made regarding a current Villa Park midfield talent.