Journalists Jacqui Oatley and Tim Spiers have hailed the impact of Willy Boly on the Wolves first-team and have claimed that he is “just ridiculous” following his return from injury, per The Molineux View (February 25, 12:20).
Boly broke his fibula in October but returned to the bench against Liverpool at the end of January.
He has since made three starts for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, against Manchester United, Leicester City, and Norwich City.
In those games, Wolves have not conceded a single goal, drawing two of those games 0-0 and beating Norwich 3-0, while they also kept a clean sheet in the Europa League game he featured in, against Espanyol.
And Wolves fan and broadcaster Oatley asked Spiers for his opinion on Boly’s return, saying: “One of the players we have to pay tribute to, if you like, because of the impact since he’s returned from injury, Willy Boly for four clean sheets in a row.
“I mean, it is an extraordinary effect that that he has had on that side. Do you think psychologically it’s affected them as well as organisationally?”
And Spiers waxed lyrical about his impact, answering: “I thought they coped quite well without him initially, but you’ve only got to look at the clean sheet record.
“With and without him, it’s so stark, that is not a coincidence. And I think when he was out it was 18 or 19 games that they were without him. And they got four clean sheets in that time and he’s come back into the team. They’ve played four games. They’ve got four clean sheets.
“You cannot argue with that math Jackie, that is just ridiculous. He’s definitely made an impact.”
He added: “Boly is just ridiculous. I mean, it looks like he’s never been away. He looks a better player to me.
“Organisationally I mean, that’s primarily Conor Coady alongside him but Boly makes such an impact, he rarely makes mistakes, is so dominant in both boxes and vastly underrated by anyone outside the club.”
Spiers is spot on here.
Boly did miss 14 league games due to his injury, with Wolves keeping just one clean sheet, in a 2-0 win over West Ham United.
Thus far this season, Wolves have only lost one game that Boly has played, in the 3-2 defeat to Everton. In that game, he was sent off.
In his last seven league games at the heart of Santo’s defence, they have not lost.
Per WhoScored, the 29-year-old averages 2.6 tackles in the top-flight, two interceptions, a staggering 5.7 clearances, as well as 4.5 aerials.
That is astonishing for a player who should be approaching the twilight of his career.
He has had a transformational effect on the side, who remain in the Europa League and are just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
With the Frenchman in the team, that gap could well close.