Aston Villa have had a rather tough start to their latest Premier League season, with two wins, one draw and four defeats to their name.

However, one positive note for the Villans in the campaign so far is the performances of summer recruit Boubacar Kamara.

As one of just three outfield players to start all seven of Villa’s league games, this shows just how important he is to the team and Steven Gerrard already. In fact, the midfielder has made more successful tackles (15), successful pressures (50) and interceptions (12) than any other player at the club in 2022/23, highlighting how impressive he has been from a defensive point of view.

Unfortunately, the Frenchman recently picked up a knee injury during Villa’s 1-0 win over Southampton, which has led to him being forced out of the France squad for their upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures.

With that in mind, should Kamara not be available for Villa’s next Premier League outing against Leeds United on 2 October, Gerrard could use this as an opportunity to unleash another summer recruit in Leander Dendoncker.

Time to unleash Dendoncker

Signed from Wolves – where he was picking up a wage of £75k-per-week – on the final day of the summer transfer window, the midfielder made his debut for Villa during the win over the Saints when he replaced Jacob Ramsey in the 67th minute.

Last season, only two other Wolves players ended the campaign with a higher percentage for shots on target than Dendoncker (43.5%), while only three of his then team-mates had a higher pass completion percentage than his 87.3%.

This shows how comfortable he is in possession, which is what Gerrard may need from his midfielders if they must do without the defensive stability of Kamara in the team.

Hailed as a “big character” by his former Wolves manager Bruno Lage, Dendoncker could now get his time to shine for Villa, should the injury to Kamara keep the ex-Marseille man out of action for a significant period of time.