The English Premier League returned this weekend and Manchester United suffered a 0-0 draw against Liverpool in a game they could have easily lost. And even though that result should not alarm anyone since the team remains near the top of the standings, once again highlighted the need for, at least, another defensive midfielder on the squad. Especially since Michael Carrick is quite likely to retire once the season ends.
Several players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford. From Emre Can to N’Golo Kante, lots of interesting names have emerged s possibilities in the short-term future. And Leander Dendoncker is the latest name to sneak into the club’s agenda.
But who is Dendoncker? Fans do not really know much about him, aside from the fact that he is 22 years old and currently plays for Anderlecht. But there is far more to know about him, because despite his age, he is considered one of the best young defensive midfielders in Europe. And several experts believe he is bound to move to a bigger club sooner than expected. He is also extremely versatile, as he can play at centre-back or central midfield if the team needs it.
Dendoncker’s Playing Style and Market Value
If any of you have not watched him play, do not worry. We got you covered. And while we need to put into context the fact that the Jupiler Pro League is not really a strong competition, his quality definitively jumps out.
Roberto Martinez already noticed him. The Spaniard manager has him as a regular member of the Belgian national team. And while he is not a starter, he is expected to play a big role in the team sooner than later.
The 22-year-old is under contract with Anderlecht until 2021, though. And according to Transfermarkt, his market value already rose to €15 million. In short – any team that wants him, will have to pay a hefty sum. He is going to be expensive, but at the same time, he could be worth the investment. Both Manchester United and Manchester City are ready to fight for his signature, and all signs indicate this is going to unleash a bidding war between both rivals.
Potential To Become Future Star
Joining United would be quite positive for him, though. He would have the chance of learning the nuances of the position from Marouane Fellaini, his teammate in Belgium, and Michael Carrick, who has been one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe over the past 15 years.
Only time will tell where he will play in the near future. But United are reportedly interested, and should be major players once he becomes available. He would fit perfectly with the team’s needs, he is young, and versatile. And if his progression is steady, we could be looking at the best option for Carrick’s long-term replacement. And those players do not grow on trees.