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Despite having been behind Roderick Miranda for most of the season so far and having only played 7 Championship matches, Frenchman Willy Boly has come into the Wolves sides and has announced himself as one of the best defenders in the league.
Time will tell of course, but his recent games have arguably even shown him up as the best defensive player in the division and while that’s a big shout, he certainly has the stats to back up those claims.
Here we look at some key numbers from Boly’s season so far versus the best from other central defenders in this division in brackets:
|Boly||Best In Championship|
|Tackles*||2.6||2.7 (Michael Hector)|
|Interceptions*||3.0||3.4 (Adam Jackson)|
|Clearances*||7.7||9.3 (Nathan Baker)|
|Blocks*||0.6||1.5 (Joe Worrall)|
|Pass Completion||79.6%||89.1% (Chris Zimmermann)|
|Average Rating (out of 10)||7.70||7.45 (Aden Flint)|
Given the hundreds of players competing and the fact that Boly is in his first season here and has only played half the games possible, these stats stack up quite well.
No defender comes out on top in all categories or even comes close, plus it must be remembered that those with huge stats in terms of blocks, clearances etc will usually be playing for a side under defensive pressure every week, i.e. with a very open style or at the bottom of the league.
Given Wolves’ overall defensive solidity, his stats are excellent and puts him well ahead of anything else in the league in terms of central defenders.
No doubt Boly will improve given more game time, though that is something that even with his ability is not guaranteed.
Wolves have, at their disposal, Danny Batth, Conor Coady, Roderick Miranda, Kortney Hause and Ryan Bennett as well as Boly. So competition is very tough at Molineux. The fact that Boly even gets game time is in itself a testament to his ability and he is one who can only get better.
Not many defenders will get the sort of average scores he is receiving at present, as by their very nature, they tend not to stand out, especially in a team that wins most of the time.
Boly should, by now, have cemented his place in this line-up and will most likely be a Premier League defender this time next year.