Wolverhampton Wanderers’ turnaround under their current head coach, Bruno Lage, has been quite incredible.
The Midlands club suffered a trio of defeats to mark the opening of the Portuguese’s reign as his appointment immediately looked like something of a mistake.
However, Wolves have banished nearly all of their demons from Nuno Santo’s mediocre final campaign in charge, as they sit firmly in contention for a Europa League spot.
They are more prominent in attack which has been aided by Raul Jimenez’s return and the arrival of Hwang Hee-Chan.
Sadly, one of the club’s lingering issues from 2020/21 is still very much plaguing them. That happens to be on the injury front where Pedro Neto, Jonny and Yerson Mosquera all remain long-term absentees at Molineux.
Lage confirmed on Tuesday that they will not return in December, but sadly the same eventually has befallen Willy Boly.
Wolves supporters have only caught one glimpse of the centre-back this term which came in the Carabao Cup.
Boly has felt the long-lasting impacts after previously testing positive for the ongoing pandemic and he has not been the same since.
The former Porto defender had appeared on the bench in the last few weeks but now fans will have to wait even longer to see him back in the Old Gold.
That’s because he’s been dealt a new late injury in the build-up to the Burnley clash. Unfortunately, it’s a setback that could keep him out until the New Year when he might head off to the Africa Cup of Nations, fitness depending.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Burnley, Lage revealed the news in a big blow that is likely to devastate him.
He said: “I believe, for sure, after this he’ll be back stronger, fit, to help us in the second half of the season. That’s what I want, for him — full energy to be fit to help us. Let’s see. He wants to come back as soon as possible, (and be) the Boly people know, the Boly who did very well here the past four years.”
The injury, at present, is unspecified but there is no denying how big a miss he continues to be.
If you can fault anything about Wolves this term, it’s their defence. With the likes of Boly, Mosquera, Jonny and Marcal all out, it has pillaged Lage of some pivotal options.
With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise to see that they’ve kept just four clean sheets in the league all season.
That record would surely be improved with Boly in the team, and thus, as Wolves continue to chase European football, that goal will become an even trickier one to achieve with him on the treatment table again.
The 30-year-old has been a colossal influence on the side since joining so Lage is likely to be gutted that he’s not had an opportunity to unleash him properly.
Once again, he’ll be left scrambling around to patch together his defence when Sean Dyche’s physically imposing side arrive in the Midlands.