The French centre-back was already heavily linked with a move to Wolves last summer before he made the switch from Braga to Porto.
Unfortunately for Boly he had Primeira Liga’s best centre-back pairing, Felipe and Marcano, ahead of him in line at Porto so his chances at the club were quite limited.
Despite lack of opportunities he acted as a true professional, doing his best when called into action and never a bad word came out of his mouth about Porto or his situation at the club.
I don’t think anyone at Porto have a single bad word for Boly either.
A move to try to find back to his superb 2015/16 form was well deserved.
Willy Boly is a beast of a defender.
Like, Roderick Miranda, he’s almost 2 meters tall, but he’s even stronger and much quicker than his Portuguese colleague.
I have previously compared him to former Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala.
They are both powerful, quick centre-backs, who knows how to handle the ball.
Unfortunately, they have both had a tendency of losing focus at times, which have made them prone to doing silly mistakes.
Tactically he isn’t the best either. His positioning and anticipation could be a bit off sometimes, but all in all the towering Frenchman won’t have any problems settling in in a much more physical league than the Portuguese.
I can see Willy Boly thriving in the Championship.
After an incredible 2015/16 season at Paços, where he scored 12 goals and assisted another 7 goals in 31 Primeira Liga games at the age of 18, he made the move to Spanish giants Atlético Madrid.
The same summer he joined Nuno Espírito Santo’s Porto on loan and he was quite instrumental in the first half of the season.
He manage to record 5 goals and 3 assists in 21 games before Porto decided to bring in V.Guimarães’ Brazilian striker Tiquinho Soares in January.
After his arrival Jota only started two games for the rest of the season as the Brazilian hit it off from the start, scoring 12 goals in 17 games for Os Dragões.
Diogo Jota ended the season on 9 goals and 4 assists in 38 games for Porto.
Not hugely impressive numbers, but given the fact that he only started 21 games it’s really not that bad.
During his 2 and half years as a professional the 20-year-old has already played in a number of different positions and various roles.
He can play out wide, both on the left and right side, he can play through the middle as a playmaker type or just behind the striker as a second striker.
He’s excellent at creating space for himself and others with his well-timed runs and pace.
He got great technical abilities and can set up chances for himself as well as his teammates.
At Paços he was more of a creative winger, who often cut inside to pick out a final pass for seomeon else or finish himself, while at Porto, before Tiquinho Soares arrival, he acted more as a second striker.
Either way, his versatility and finishing abilities will come in very handy for Wolves this upcoming season.
I can’t say I have watched a single minute of Léo Bonatini’s season in Saudi Arabia, but judging by the Brazilian-Italian striker’s 1,5 season at Estoril, Wolves have a potential shrewd striker on their hands.
Bonatini didn’t have the easiest start at Estoril, after arriving from Cruzeiro on loan at the age of 20.
The striker, who had already had a short spell at Juventus’ Primavera squad, was supposed to be the club’s backup striker, but he was thrown to wolves almost immediately as Kléber, the club’s top scorer, became injured.
It was a heavy burden to bear for the Brazilian, who had barely any experience from top flight football before his move to Portugal.
Things went better and better for the youngster, though, and he soon established himself as the club’s starting striker even after Kléber’s return.
4 goals in 16 games isn’t the most impressive numbers for a striker, but he had showed glimpse of great talent with his unselfish style and excellent movement.
That was enough for Estoril, who decided to bet on Léo Bonatini as their main man up front for the upcoming season and they made his loan permanent.
Estoril’s faith in Bonatini paid off massively as the Brazilian went on to score 17 goals and assisting 5 others in 33 Liga games.
His manager at Estoril, Fabiano Soares, told the press towards the end of that season “Léo is a different player. He got what it takes to play for one of the big three[Sporting, Porto & Benfica], to play in the Champions League”.
He was heavily linked with Sporting during last summer, but he ended up going to Al-Hilal, for a reportedly record-breaking €5 million fee.
Léo Bonatini is a decent finisher, who can finish with both feet.
Physically, he isn’t the strongest, tallest or the quickest(nor the slowest), but he’s a surprisingly good header making him a real threat in the air.
He’s also great at setting up others and good at holding up the play. At the time he left Estoril I felt it was too soon for him to join any of Portugal’s big three and make a real impact straight away.
Hopefully a year in Saudi Arabia has made him a more clinical striker.
Jan Hagen is a football writer specialising in Portuguese football and has also written for Sport Witness, FIFA and and The Metro. You can follow Jan on Twitter on @PortuBall