Recognition of Wolves’ fine season has been reflected in the voting of BBC pundits for their PFA player of the year, with four of the 23 players shortlisted coming from Molineux.
Twenty-one pundits have selected their six outstanding performers of 2018-19. Former Wolves captain Paul Ince picked Willy Boly in his top six, Stephen Warnock included Raul Jimenez, Danny Murphy went for Joao Moutinho and former England women’s international Sue Smith opted for Ruben Neves.
Outside of Manchester City and Liverpool, who had six and four players respectively in the voting, Wolves had the most nominated with four, ahead of Tottenham, Watford and Bournemouth (two each).
Ince, who skippered Wolves to the Premier League for the first time in 2003, said: “There are a few Wolves players who have impressed me – Raul Jimenez has started scoring goals, and Conor Coady has been superb for someone who was naturally a centre midfield player, spent a season in the Championship at right-back and is now playing centre-half.
“Coady has done ever so well, but I am going to include Willy Boly, who has been outstanding alongside him all season.”
Warnock, who played for Liverpool, Blackburn, Villa and Leeds, added: “I like quite a few Wolves players too, but Raul Jimenez has been unreal. In the first half of the season he was getting in positions but not finishing the chances, but that all changed after Christmas.”
Match of the Day regular Murphy, the ex-Crewe, Liverpool, Tottenham, Fulham and Blackburn midfielder, said: “I think it is good to recognise players from outside the top six, and as a former midfielder myself, I am a big fan of Joao Moutinho.
“Wolves have had a great season and for an older guy to come to the Premier League at 32 with his kind of hunger and blossom like he has, is great to see.”
Liverpool centre back Virgil Van Dijk won the pundits’ vote 14 to seven, ahead of Manchester City attacker Raheem Sterling.
Others featuring in the voting were five more City players – Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho and Ederson – three more from Liverpool in Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane from Tottenham, Watford’s Ben Foster and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, Bournemouth wingers David Brooks and Ryan Fraser and Crystal Palace right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The pundits were Alan Shearer, Ian Wright, Alex Scott, Ince, Phil Neville, Jermaine Jenas, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Stephen Warnock, Chris Sutton, Pat Nevin, Danny Mills, Mark Lawrenson, Martin Keown, Danny Murphy, Chris Waddle, Leon Osman, Sue Smith, former Wolves defender Joleon Lescott, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Upson and Kevin Kilbane.