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Is Jordan Willis any good? Coventry fan tells all about what Sunderland’s latest signing is like

Is Jordan Willis any good? We sat down for a chat with massive Coventry fan George Baker to get the lowdown on the man who joins Sunderland following a lengthy spell as a Sky Blues first team mainstay.

Coventry City v Walsall - Sky Bet League One - Ricoh Arena Photo by Barrington Coombs/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

RR: Jordan Willis seems to be really highly rated by Coventry fans. Why is that?

GB: For us Coventry fans, at least those of who are of a younger generation, he is the closest thing we have to a legend in recent years.

The reason for that being he’s come through our Academy, and despite interest from higher divisions, he’s remained loyal to us - even dropping down to League Two and playing an immense part in our promotion.

He’s been incredibly consistent over the years and every single one of our fans were gutted when it was announced he was leaving.

RR: He’s only 5’11, which is small for a centre back, does that hinder him at all?

GB: Not in the slightest. He’s dominant in the air and has a tremendous leap on him and he’s kept the likes of Akinfenwa in his pocket in recent years.

He may be smaller than the height you’d expect for a centre half to be, but he makes up for it with his athleticism.

Coventry City v Barnsley - Sky Bet League One - Ricoh Arena Photo by Chris Radburn/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

RR: What are his three biggest strengths and why?

GB: As mentioned, his athleticism is a huge plus. This includes his pace too which allows a manager to play a higher line as he has incredible recovery speed that gets him and the team out of tough situations.

He’s a leader as well, but not a conventional one that is constantly barking order but he sets the tone.

Chances are if Willis is having a good game, the rest of the team will.

RR: Any weaknesses?

GB: That probably comes in his ability to make a pass over the long distance.

Short distance there is no issue, but he has the tendency to attempt a Hollywood cross-field ball that can sometimes evade everyone and end up in the stand, but ultimately he is a defender and as long as he’s protecting his goal, he’s doing his job.

RR: He’s a product of the impressive Sky Blues youth system and came up through the division with you, but how far do you think he can go?

GB: With all due respect, I and a lot of other Coventry fans feel like he’d step into the Championship after leaving us as he’s definitely able and good enough for that. So ultimately it’s a little disappointing and frustrating that he has left us for a divisional rival when I think he is capable of of playing at a higher level, but perhaps Sunderland offered first-team football the Championship couldn’t offer.

I just hope he gets the chance to play there someday at the very least.

West Bromwich Albion v Coventry City - Cyrille Regis Memorial Trophy - The Hawthorns Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images

RR: He was also your captain and led you to your promotion and the Checkatrade Trophy at the age of just 22. Is he a leader at the back?

GB: As mentioned, he is. He sets a massive example and leads from the back.

If we didn’t have characters like Michael Doyle and Liam Kelly sign for us in recent years that are outstanding candidates then I’m convinced he would have remained our captain all these years.

RR: What sort of partner suits him best? He seemed to have a great partnership with Dom Hyam last year.

GB: Quite honestly, I think he can play with anyone as a partner.

In the last two years he of course formed a solid partnership with our player of the year Dom Hyam, but he also performed alongside Tom Davies and Rod McDonald all all three of these partners have completely different styles.

I think Willis is so unique for this division that his ability, athleticism and leadership qualities allow him to play with anyone.

RR: Overall, gutted to lose him?

GB: 100%. Even more so knowing he will be playing the same division as us. But ultimately he gave us everything over the last few years and it’s only fair he was given he was given the opportunity to spread his wings elsewhere.

Despite joining a rival, I think he will get the best wishes from every Coventry fan.

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