His wait for a debut with the Owls was a long time in the making. Dunkley joined Wednesday not too long after a double leg break that was always going to keep him sidelined, but he admitted that he did have a few setbacks on the road to recovery too.
But when he got into the side under Tony Pulis, boy did he make a good first impression. He’s loud, full of character and heart, and immediately seemed to improve Wednesday’s defensive line. It was certainly a case of ‘better late than never’.
Dunkley, 28, now has five Championship appearances to his name (he’d probably have had more if not for the postponement of two fixtures), and there has been signs that his partnership with Tom Lees could blossom into something really strong.
From the stands you can hear him, bellowing words of encouragement and advice – he says it’s to keep him switched on as much as his teammates. And he’s been able to back up his big personality with his performances, too.
As things stand, Dunkley averages more interceptions per game (12.8) than any other Wednesday player, and is also top of the charts in terms of blocks (1.4) - only two players in the entire division average more.
He’s third in the team for clearances per game (4), and his record of only giving away 1.2 fouls per game is not bad for a physical centre back like him.
Despite playing only five matches, he’s in the top 11 players at the club for total aerials won, and has only lost four of the aerial battles that he’s gone up for. Put it this way – he’s not beaten easily.
Yes, it’s still early doors and there’s a long way to go. But if his first few games are anything to go by, Chey Dunkley for ZERO pounds could prove to be quite the bargain.