Football

Man City vs Wolves: Should Dendoncker be axed?


Wolves are very nearly back in top gear. They have lost just one of their last seven league outings and slight fears of relegation that were had are beginning to be wiped away.

Nuno Santo has taken his side back to their infamous three-man defence, and it’s paying off.

On the chalkboard

Despite the renewed positivity surrounding Molineux, their 1-1 draw with relegation candidates Newcastle last weekend was perhaps rather disappointing.

We got to watch a feast of dribbling from Adama Traore and Allan Saint-Maximin, and in the process, Leander Dendoncker was caught out time and time again.

The attacking duo are a joy to watch for their respective sides and they caused carnage on Saturday evening.

Traore gave Emil Krafth a torrid time down Newcastle’s right-hand side with the Spaniard completing as many as 14 dribbles; the winger’s highest successful tally this season.

Though, down Wolves’ right side, Dendoncker was also given a frightening time by Saint-Maximin. The Belgian can play in a multitude of positions but when selected in defence on Saturday, he let his team down.

Where is Dendoncker’s best position?

Midfield

Defence

Defence

The Frenchman gave Dendoncker a horrible time, providing four key passes and also managing four successful dribbles. In the words of Birmingham Live reporter Alex Dicken, he was “skinned” by the dazzling Saint-Maximin on a frequent basis.

Drop him

With that in mind, Nuno should be worried about fielding the Belgium international in that position on Tuesday evening.

If he struggled with Newcastle’s tricky winger at the weekend, just imagine how difficult he’ll find life against Manchester City.

It remains to be seen who starts in Pep Guardiola’s attack but with Raheem Sterling rested against West Ham, he is more than likely to feature on the left-hand side of City’s forward line.

The Englishman has completed 2.4 dribbles per game this term so Dendoncker could struggle yet again. It would be a surprising decision for Nuno to take though, especially given previous praise for the £90k-per-week Belgian.

Earlier this season, the 25-year-old became a combative force in the middle of the park. Dave Edwards deemed him undroppable, suggesting that it was “Dendoncker and one other” that Nuno would have to pick in his midfield.

Yet, now playing further back in defence, he’s being defeated. Dendoncker is usually so reliable but after the stifling night he was given by Saint-Maximin, trusting him against Sterling would be risky business.

AND in other news, Better than Jose: Wolves could rue missing £18m target once dubbed “out of this world”…





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