|Full name||Leander Dendoncker|
|Date of birth||15 April 1995|
|Place of birth||Passendale, Belgium|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Defender / Defensive midfielder|
(on loan from Anderlecht)
|2018–||→ Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||7||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12 February 2019|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 28 June 2018
Leander Dendoncker (born 15 April 1995) is a Belgian international footballer who plays as either a defender or defensive midfielder, for Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan from Anderlecht.
He joined Anderlecht in 2009 and made his professional debut in July 2013, going on to play 171 games for the club and score 11 goals. He won two Belgian Super Cups and a Belgian First Division A title. He made his senior international debut for Belgium in June 2015 and was part of their squad that finished third at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Dendoncker transferred from K.S.V. Roeselare to R.S.C. Anderlecht in 2009, choosing that club ahead of Standard Liège, Club Brugge and K.R.C. Genk. After performances for the youth team in the NextGen Series and a training camp in Turkey, he was incorporated into the first team in January 2013. He models his game on that of the Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets.
He made his professional debut on 21 July in the 2013 Belgian Super Cup, replacing Dennis Praet for the final nine minutes of the 1–0 win over Genk at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. On 26 September, he extended his contract until 2016.
However, it was not until 1 August 2014 that he debuted in the Belgian Pro League, on the first day of the season away to KV Oostende. After scoring his first professional goal on 18 January 2015 in a 3–0 win at Lierse S.K., Dendoncker was praised by former Anderlecht player Paul Van Himst, who said that there was no better player at his position in the club. He played six matches in the 2014–15 Belgian Cup, which his team lost 2–1 in the final to Brugge.
Anderlecht won the 2016–17 Belgian First Division A. Dendoncker scored five goals along the way, including two on 18 December in a 4–0 home win over K.A.S. Eupen. He also played all 16 games in their European campaign that season, which ended with elimination by eventual winners Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League. In the first leg of that tie on 13 April 2017, he scored a late equaliser in a 1–1 draw.
On 9 August 2018 Dendoncker moved to newly promoted English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers on an initial season-long loan which is to become permanent in summer 2019. He made his debut on 28 August in the second round of the EFL Cup away to Sheffield Wednesday (2–0 victory), with coach Nuno Espírito Santo making nine changes from the previous game. In late September, The Football Association rejected the obligatory purchase clause in Dendoncker's Wolves contract and made his deal became permanent for €15 million.
He finally made a league appearance on 5 December in a 2–1 win against Chelsea, playing the final nine minutes in place of goalscorer Raúl Jiménez, and scored his first Premier League goal on his sixth appearance in the competition, in a 1–3 win at Everton on 2 February 2019.
Dendoncker was first called up for the Belgium national football team on 22 May 2015 by manager Marc Wilmots, along with his Anderlecht teammate Youri Tielemans. He made his debut on 7 June in a friendly game away to France, replacing Jason Denayer for the final five minutes of a 4–3 win.
On 4 June 2018, manager Roberto Martínez named Dendoncker in Belgium's 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He made his tournament debut on 29 June in a 1–0 win over England at the Kaliningrad Stadium, with both teams fielding unfamiliar teams having already advanced to the last 16.
Dendoncker was born in Passendale, West Flanders to pig farming parents. He is the middle of three footballing sons: in May 2017, his elder brother Andres was playing for Roeselare and his younger brother Lars had been given his first professional contract aged 16 at Brugge.
Dendoncker moved to Brussels to play for Anderlecht while in their under-15 team and suffered from homesickness while adjusting to the difference between a largely white rural setting and a diverse urban environment. He attended the Sint-Guido-Instituut school in Anderlecht at the time that it was being filmed for the fly-on-the-wall documentary De School van Lukaku (Lukaku's School) focusing on his teammate Romelu Lukaku. He has noted that he speaks in West Flemish to his family, but the Brabantian dialect when doing interviews for Anderlecht.
- As of match played 11 February 2019
|Anderlecht||2013–14||Belgian Pro League||0||0||1||0||0||0||1[a]||0||2||0|
|2014–15||Belgian Pro League||26||2||6||0||6[b]||0||0||0||38||2|
|2015–16||Belgian Pro League||23||1||1||1||6[c]||0||—||30||2|
|2016–17||Belgian First Division A||40||5||1||0||16[d]||1||—||57||6|
|2017–18||Belgian First Division A||36||1||2||0||6[e]||0||0||0||44||1|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan)||2018–19||Premier League||7||1||2||0||—||2||0||11||1|
- As of 28 June 2018
- "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: List of players: Belgium" (PDF). FIFA. 10 June 2018. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
- "Dendoncker, le jeune qui monte" [Dendoncker, the young player on the rise] (in French). DH. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Anderlecht bat Genk et remporte sa 11e Supercoupe" [Anderlecht beat Genk 1–0 and win their 11th Super Cup]. L'Avenir (in French). 21 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Dendoncker prolonge à Anderlecht jusqu'en 2016" [Dendoncker prolongs at Anderlecht until 2016] (in French). RTBF. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Dendoncker: "Les voilà enfin, mes premiers buts!"" [Dendoncker: "Finally, my first goals!"] (in French). DH. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Van Himst : "A Anderlecht, personne n'est meilleur que Dendoncker en n°6"" [Van Himst: "At Anderlecht, nobody is better at #6 than Dendoncker] (in French). RTBF. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Anderlecht repris de volée par Bruges en finale de la Coupe" (in French). RTBF. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- Scholten, Berend (19 May 2017). "Anderlecht wieder ganz oben in Belgien" (in German). UEFA. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "Dendoncker, auteur d'un doublé contre Eupen : "Je savais que j'allais marquer"" [Dendoncker, author of a brace against Eupen: "I knew I was going to score"] (in French). RTBF. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Leander Dendoncker strikes late to deny Red Devils away victory in Europa League". Talksport. 13 April 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Wolves land Belgium unternational Dendoncker". Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 9 August 2018.
- "Sheffield Wednesday 0–2 Wolverhampton Wanderers". BBC Sport. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- Taildeman, Yves (22 September 2018). "Leander Dendoncker déjà vendu pour 15 millions" [Leander Dendoncker already sold for 15 million]. La Libre (in French). Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- Spiers, Tim (7 December 2018). "Leander Dendoncker delighted with Wolves bow". Express & Star. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
- Johnston, Neil (2 February 2019). "Everton 1–3 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Wolves impress in win at Everton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
- "Diables rouges: Wilmots appelle Dendoncker et Tielemans" [Red Devils: Wilmots calls up Dendoncker and Tielemans]. La Libre (in French). 22 May 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Une spectaculaire victoire de prestige!" [A spectacular prestigious victory!]. L'Avenir (in French). 7 June 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "World Cup 2018: Belgium include Vincent Kompany but Christian Benteke misses out". BBC Sport. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- "Adnan Januzaj strikes as Gareth Southgate's side finish second". Sky Sports. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
- Vandeweghe, Hans. "Verhaal over Leander Dendoncker in De Morgen van 13 mei 2017" [Story about Leander Dendoncker in De Morgen of 13 May 2017] (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 July 2018.
Vandeweghe, Hans (14 May 2017). "Leander Dendoncker, de aorta van Anderlecht: "Voetbal is bijzaak"" [Leander Dendoncker, Anderlecht's aorta: "Football is a side issue"] (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- "Belgium – L. Dendoncker – Profile with news, career statistics and history – Soccerway". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
- "Leander Dendoncker". European Football. 1 July 2018.
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