ASTON VILLA

Aston Villa midfielder Leander Dendoncker could be on his way to Goodison Park

Aston Villa midfielder Leander Dendoncker has emerged as a possible target for Everton. The Belgian’s contract expires in 2026. However, Dendoncker could be out this summer and the decision would be mutual.

Leander Dendoncker joined Napoli on a short-term loan from the Villa Park earlier this season. Nevertheless, the 29-year old failed to make a name for himself at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Dendoncker’s journey so far

The Belgian began his youth career as a 16-year old at FC Passendale. Dendoncker earned a move to Roeselare in 2003. Later, Anderlecht scouted the midfielder and signed him in 2009. Moreover, the Spaniard made his first team appearance for Anderlecht in 2013.

Dendoncker helped his side to qualify for the Belgian Cup Final 2014-15. However, Anderlecht ended up losing the game to Brugge 1-2. Dendoncker also got a call-up from the national side in 2015. As of now, the Belgian has won 32 caps to his name.

Although, two years later, Dendoncker was crucial in Anderlecht winning the 2016-17 Belgian First Division A league.

The Belgian was loaned out to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018 with an option to buy. Wolves cashed-in on the opportunity and signed Dendoncker permanently in 2019 after he almost spent a decade with Anderlecht.

Aston Villa signed the midfielder from Wolves in 2022 for around £13 million. The Belgian couldn’t really find his feet at Villa Park. He was mostly warming up the bench under Unai Emery and went on to miss games altogether due to a hand injury.

From Villa to Napoli: Dendoncker slumped

Napoli decided to loan The Belgian on a short-term deal in December 2024 until the end of the season. An option to buy was included in the contract. However, Dendoncker was unable to hit the ground running at Naples too. In fact, injuries kept plaguing the midfielder.

Moreover, Dendoncker managed only 3 appearances for Napoli, featuring for merely 21 minutes! He was mostly sidelined. Henceforth, it seems highly unlikely that Napoli will be triggering £7.7 million buy option for the midfielder.

Everton eye Dendoncker: Villa look for profit

Sean Dyche and Everton is considering to make a move for Leander Dendoncker. The midfielder will offer some much needed squad depth to The Toffees and might as well revive his career at Goodison Park!

Meanwhile, Aston Villa will be hoping to recover the £12.8 million spent on signing Dendoncker. Regardless, Villa will find it difficult to make money on the Belgian considering his disastrous season with Napoli.

Moreover, Unai Emery and Villa are in no mood to retain the midfielder. Especially, after his comments earlier this season.

Dendoncker: “Napoli is slightly more prestigious”

Dendoncker had high regards for Napoli. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Unless, if you take a dig at your parent club by comparing it.

Upon joining Napoli, the Belgian made the following comments:

“I actually think that Napoli is slightly more prestigious”.

In Dendoncker’s defense Napoli had won Serie A the previous year and their European form had been pretty decent too. Maybe the Belgian’s comments were not that out of order.

However, when the midfielder went on to say:

“This was not the case at Aston Villa. Yes, this is the new start I needed. Everything is different here, whether it is on a sporting or cultural level. We know how passionate people are about football in Naples. I was in my sixth season in England”.

Well, this was bound to infuriate Villa and their fans. And so it did.

What’s in the future for the Belgian?

What’s ironic is that despite making such bold comments, the Belgian wasn’t even able to prove himself at Napoli. Moreover, he ended up losing the respect of his parent club and fans.

While it is uncertain if the move to Everton will foster, Dendoncker’s chances of playing again for Villa are minimal.

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