Napoli confirm they will not sign Aston Villa's struggling midfielder


Napoli has announced that they will not be making Leander Dendoncker's loan move from Aston Villa permanent. The Belgian midfielder joined Napoli in January on loan with an option to buy for around £8 million, but his time in Italy has come to an end without a permanent deal.

Dendoncker's experience at Napoli was marked by significant managerial changes, which impacted his playing time. Shortly after his arrival, Walter Mazzarri was replaced by Francesco Calzona. As a result, Dendoncker made only three appearances in Serie A, totalling just 22 minutes. He did not feature in any of Napoli's final 10 league games of the season.

Prior to his loan move to Napoli, Dendoncker had a challenging season at Aston Villa, starting only one Premier League match and making seven additional appearances off the bench. He joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2022 from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £13 million and made 14 appearances under manager Unai Emery in the 2022/23 season, starting five times. However, increased competition in the squad, including the arrival of Youri Tielemans, made it difficult for Dendoncker to secure a regular spot.

Napoli confirmed the departure of six players, including Dendoncker. The club expressed gratitude for the players' professionalism and commitment, wishing them well in their future endeavours. The contracts of these players expired on June 30, and they will no longer be employed by the club as of July 1.

At 29 years old, Dendoncker faces a crucial juncture in his career. With two years remaining on his contract with Aston Villa, the club is expected to listen to offers for the midfielder. Everton has already been linked with a potential move, and former managers Nuno Espirito Santo and Steven Gerrard, now at different clubs, could also show interest.

A permanent move this summer seems likely for Dendoncker, providing him an opportunity to leave behind an underwhelming season and seek a fresh start. Aston Villa could also benefit from raising funds through his sale as they continue to build their squad for the future. He will most probably join a list of Aston Villa departures with the likes of Douglas Luiz, Tim Iroegbunam, and Omari Kellyman.

As the summer transfer window progresses, both Dendoncker and Aston Villa will be looking for a resolution that benefits all parties involved. The Belgian midfielder's brief tenure at Napoli may not have resulted in a permanent transfer, but it has opened up new possibilities for the next chapter in his career.