Swansea director criticises striker move
Manchester City's latest signing Wilfried Bony may be in another continent currently but the Swansea forward continues to make headlines before his City career has even begun.
Bony's former side Swansea may have pocketed a reported £25 million from the sale of the Ivorian but have also been keen to cast their opinions on the striker’s future at the Etihad Stadium. Swans director John van Zweden was widely reported at the weekend to have expressed his disappointment at losing the 28-year-old striker only to sit on the Manchester City bench.
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Manchester City have seen a host of strikers come and go in their attempts to partner Sergio Aguero and make a winning defence of their Premier League title. Edin Dzeko has thus far provided the most consistent player but has struggled to make an impact this campaign. Stevan Jovetic's career in England has failed to take off and Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping that an experienced Premier League forward can provide a more significant return for the investment.
It is easy to see why City felt the need to bring the powerful strikerrd to the North-West in January. In his two years with Swansea, Bony has made a total of 70 appearances and managed to net 34 goals. Prior to his move to the Welsh club, he netted 53 goals in 73 appearances for Vitesse. Theoretically, Bony is entering his peak years and the switch to City will likely define his career. Can the latest big money arrival in Manchester meet the expectations of a club fighting to retain their Premier League title?
The former Liverpool trialist can initially look to his competitors for a starting slot alongside Argentine Sergio Aguero. Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko forged the most successful partnership with the Argentine over the previous three campaigns but has been continually linked with a move away from the side under boss Pellegrini.
Despite domestic success though, City have found only frustration in the Champions League and this disappointment may lie at the heart of the search for a more suitable strike partner. In 30 appearances in European competition, Dzeko managed just six goals. Aguero on the other hand netted 18 goals in 26 games.
Bony's experience in Europe is limited to the Europa League with five goals in eleven appearances however City's coaching team are hoping that Aguero and Bony can develop an understanding that could yield results domestically and on the continent.
Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic have always been seen as partners to Aguero but Bony's goal-record, physical prowess and confidence make it unlikely that the Ivorian will allow himself to be seen simply as foil for the fans favourite.
City's reliance on Aguero is most noticeable when the Argentine is unavailable, a regular occurrence in recent years. Bony can not only be a success as a partner but in his own right as a lone striker should the Argentine be unavailable or if he were ever to leave Manchester.
Bony's ability to score a variety of goals is what will ultimately distance him from the likes of Dzeko, Jovetic, Adebayor and Negredo. City fans may be hoping his career starts sooner rather than later though with Ivory Coast possibly facing elimination from the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday. Should they be ejected, they would see the return of both Yaya Toure and Bony ahead of a crucial Premier League tie against Chelsea on Saturday.
City sit five points behind Chelsea currently and realistically need a win at Stamford Bridge in order to pull closer to Jose Mourinho's side. City fans should be excited at the prospect of a new striker being brought in who has a proven record in the Premier League and has the ability to push Sergio Aguero and provide real competition whether it be for one or two starting slots.