Boly leaves for Forest

Willy Boly’s five-year spell with Wolves has come to an end, with the defender joining Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest on a permanent deal.

The 31-year-old has been a big part of the club’s success since his 2017 arrival, helping Wolves back into the Premier League, enjoying a thrilling journey in the Europa League and consolidating in England’s top flight.

The defender’s time in old gold began as a loanee from FC Porto, where he’d previously worked under Nuno Espirito Santo, and their renewed relationship in the West Midlands saw Boly flourish at Molineux.

A formidable presence on the left side of Wolves’ back three, Boly’s knack for scoring in Wolves victories that magical debut season was a welcome one – Norwich City, Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United all suffered at the hands of Wolves’ popular number 15.

At times, the Ivory Coast international breezed through the Championship campaign, so when a winner’s medal and place in the PFA Team of the Year were added to his CV, a permanent move was inevitable and celebrated by supporters in June 2018.

A memorable, if somewhat controversial, first Premier League goal against eventual winners Manchester City helped reintroduce Wolves to the big time and began another hugely fruitful season in old gold.

A towering header in the club’s first ever appearance at the new Wembley – a 3-1 success over Tottenham Hotspur – added another big moment to the collection, as did an injury time equaliser against Newcastle United in front of the South Bank.

With the club and Boly back in European football come the 2019/20 campaign, the consistent performances followed from the defender, whose truly golden Wolves moment arrived on the famous Bosporus of Istanbul.

Wolves’ first official European away day in 39 years took the club to Turkey, and in the hostile Besiktas atmosphere, Nuno’s side were heading for a goalless draw until deep into injury time Boly took Ruben Neves’ cute pass under his spell and instinctively tucked home the winner.

The euphoric celebrations from Boly and his teammates were mirrored in the away end, high up in the Turkish sky – Wolves were back on the European stage where they belonged, and thanks to Boly, had memories of a lifetime to treasure.

Sadly, that proved the pinnacle of Boly’s Wolves career which could never be reached again. A fractured fibula robbed him of a significant portion of 2019/20 action, while repeated injury problems disrupted the following campaign.

Managers changed, and the group developed at Molineux, leaving chances rare for much of last season under Bruno Lage, but a late flurry of 11 matches in the side ensured Boly would be reunited with the supporters who held him in such high regard.

Now, the time comes to part ways, as Wolves continue to develop under Lage and Boly heads for a fresh challenge at the City Ground.