Wilfried Bony's goals have attracted interest from the Premier League
Newcastle United’s search for a new striker is one of this summer’s worst-kept secrets, with a string of forwards already linked with a move to St. James’ Park ahead of next season.
In the six weeks since the end of last term, a host of proven goalscorers from across the continent have been mentioned, with The Guardian and Daily Mail citing Darren Bent, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Andre-Pierre Gignac as names on manager Alan Pardew’s hit list.
The Ivorian international notched an impressive 37 goals in just 36 games in all competitions last season, including 31 in the league as the Dutch club finished fourth in the Eredivisie.
That prolific form prompted Swansea City to launch a £10 million bid to sign him last week according to BBC Sport, but with no deal finalised, Newcastle remain interested observers of a player they were first linked with back in January.
And while Michael Laudrup remains focused on bringing Bony to South Wales, his assets could be perfectly matched to a Magpies side urgently looking to boost their attacking options.
Though his scoring record speaks for itself, Bony’s ability often belies that of an all-out goal poacher.
At 1.82 metres tall, his frame offers a useful target for wingers and full-backs alike, while blistering acceleration over the first 10 to 15 yards makes him an ideal mark from midfield.
His hold-up play also invites others into the attack and encourages runners from the middle of the park—a feature that was sorely missing from Newcastle’s ventures forward last season.
The benefits could also be far-reaching for United’s No. 9, Papiss Cisse, who was often left isolated during the 2012-13 campaign and in desperate need of support.
Bingerville-born Bony began his senior career with Issia Wazi in the Ivory Coast’s top flight, but his obvious talent soon caught the eye of clubs from across mainland Europe.
Following an unsuccessful trial at Liverpool in 2007, he tried his luck in the Czech Republic with Sparta Prague and was soon scoring regularly for the first team having graduated via their B side.
After netting 30 times in 75 games, the striker switched to Vitesse in 2011 where he hit the ground running.
The tone was set with a goal on his debut, and despite his January arrival, Bony ended the campaign as the club’s top scorer. His prolific streak continued into last season and shows no sign of slowing.
His international debut for The Elephants came in 2010 against Burundi, and the forward has gone on to notch up 20 caps for his country so far, scoring eight goals along the way.
It's this kind of form that has turned him into one of European football’s most efficient strikers, and with the battle to secure his signature hotting up, it may not be long before Bony is making headlines in the Premier League.