When Leander Dendoncker first moved to Wolves, they were some in the Belgian sport media ready to somewhat smirk at the switch.
Whilst at Anderlecht, the footballer hadn’t hidden his ambitions to move to a bigger league and that had annoyed some people. At times, it was very clear the Belgian club were the ones pushing transfer stories, and attached prices, out to the media, but there often seemed to be a bad slant on the player.
That it was Wolves and not someone like Manchester United, or even Everton, was seen as a sign that perhaps the versatile footballer wasn’t all he thought he was.
That he then failed to have a quick impact at the Premier League club was the motivation for further doubts about Dendoncker and his level.
But he didn’t drop his head and instead kept on keeping on, and those Wolves bench days are being left behind.
In the Belgium squad, Dendoncker has been speaking at a press conference.
Het Nieuwsblad quote him as saying: “I just needed a slightly longer adjustment period. A transfer brings new circumstances. That’s why I never doubted.”
On whether he’s now nailed on for Nuno Espirito Santo, the player explained: “Whether I have become a regular starting player or not, I don’t know, but this is of course fun. My adjustment took a while, but I don’t think I underestimated anything. Agreed, the Premier League is more physical and intense and that may have surprised me a little, but I have always continued to do my best. Also on a mental level.”
On his favoured position, Dendoncker said: “It’s nice to be played again as a midfielder. That is and remains my best and favourite position.”
Now a regular with a team towards the right end of the Premier League, and in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, the Wolves player will be keeping a few people quiet.