Premier League Transfers: Scouting Swansea City Signing Wilfried Bony
Swansea City are said to be close to sealing their first major transfer signing of the summer with the capture of Ivory Coast international striker, Wilfried Bony.
According to Gerrit van Leeuwen of Sky Sports, many other Premier League teams were looking at Bony with a view to a move this summer, but the Swans have agreed to a fee of around £10.2 million to bring in the striker, who is currently playing for Vitesse in the Dutch top flight.
The move, when confirmed, will be seen as an excellent capture for Swansea and their manager Michael Laudrup, who was sure to seek additional goals this summer to boost his side who were somewhat reliant on Michu last term.
So what does Bony bring to the Swansea attack?
An imposing 1.82 metres tall, Bony utilises his strong but slender frame to lead the line for his team. Good acceleration over short distances help him best an opponent in a one-on-one situation and he possesses the speed to beat central defenders when taking them on.
He's a strong player, but not one who opts to work by brute force, rather using his physicality to shield the ball as he holds it up or makes his move into the penalty area.
Don't expect him to look for constant balls aimed towards his head—not that Swansea would be doing that anyway—instead Bony will use his movement to find space in the channels or inside the penalty area, darting into gaps and getting his body between defender and ball.
Goals, Goals, Goals
With 31 league goals in 30 league games this past season, it's clear where the attraction lies with Bony. He also added another six goals in six games between the Dutch Cup and Europa League, plus another strike at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, totalling an impressive 38 goals in 39 matches for club and country.
Bony has shown an ability to net all kinds of goals; headers, close-range finishes, penalties, solo efforts and driven strikes are all in his repertoire.
As seems to be the slightly patronising norm, questions will be asked of his ability to find the net in the Premier League on such a regular occurrence when comparing it to the strength of the Dutch domestic league, but he certainly has the tools to be a scorer if he has the service.
At 24 years old he still has room to improve his finishing, along with most other parts of his game, but as a regular starter, Swansea will certainly be looking for 12-15 goals from him.
At Vitesse, Bony has had the talented Marco Van Ginkel providing him with chances aplenty. It seems likely that at Swansea, as the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, he will have the more aggressive and attack-minded Michu operating behind him and two supporting creative talents from the flanks.
A Michu-Bony combination seems laden with goals on first sight, and given the Spaniard's propensity to make late runs from deep into the penalty area, it could indeed be a partnership which works well together.
If Michu keeps his fitness going, there's a strong possibility that he'll get more chances on goal next season than he did last year, even as the main front man; Bony is excellent at holding the ball until a runner surpasses him and then feeding a quick pass off for a shot at goal. Michu will revel getting involved with this kind of service to feet.
It is this kind of combination that Swansea fans should expect to get excited about where Bony is concerned. The Ivorian can make the sum of all the team's attacking parts add up to a lot more than they did last season—as well as bringing his own goalscoring talents to the party.
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