Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Targeting Wilfried Bony Is Wrong Move for the Reds

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2013

ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 16:  Wilfried Bony of Vitesse celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during the Eredivisie match between Vitesse Arnhem and RKC Waalwijk at Gelredome on December 16, 2012 in Arnhem, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Liverpool better hope Swansea wins the Wilfried Bony sweepstakes this summer.

The Reds were apparently one of the team's hoping to snap up the Vitesse striker, per the Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis:

Swansea have stepped up their bid to land striker Wilfried Bony with an improved package worth £13.7 million.

Boss Michael Laudrup is desperate to land the Vitesse Arnhem star, who plundered 31 goals in 30 games last season.

The Swans, boosting their squad for a Europa League campaign after winning last season's Capital One Cup, have already had an offer of around £10m rejected.

Vitesse are holding out as Liverpool, Everton and West Ham have all expressed interest in the Ivory Coast international.

The Daily Mail's Riath Al-Sammari is reporting Swansea could finish the deal as quickly as Monday:

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins expects the record-breaking move for Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony to be completed within the next 24 hours.

Jenkins told Sportsmail that the £12 million deal, which could rise to £13.8m with add-ons, will ‘hopefully’ be completed by Monday.

It will bring to an end a six-month pursuit for the prolific 24-year-old, with the transfer more than doubling the record £5.55m fee Swansea paid for Pablo Hernandez last summer.

The Reds already have Daniel Sturridge, Iago Aspas and Luis Suarez at striker right now. Until Suarez is sold, it doesn't make sense to purchase another forward. If he's sold, then the club should take the money and spend on a player with a much better record than the 24-year-old Ivorian.

The Reds could get about £40-50 million from letting Suarez go. Although the club couldn't get a striker the quality of Edinson Cavani, there are plenty of other options who have established themselves in much stronger leagues than the Dutch first division.

Bony had a fantastic season in the Eredivisie last season, leading the league in scoring, with 31 goals. That's basically the biggest reason there are a host of clubs vying for his services this summer.

While no player can ever be a sure thing upon his arrival, the bust potential for Bony is very high.

His goal total was a massive jump for a player who'd never had more than 13 league goals in a season prior to this past year. Dutch football analytics 11tegen11 had a great post back in November comparing Bony to a professional cyclist. The author was making the point that under a different context, Bony's jump in goals would be viewed much more skeptically.

The problem is that the Eredivisie has produced quite a few strikers who've failed to adapt to other European leagues. For every Suarez, you get an Afonso Alves.

The Eredivisie is extremely kind to strikers. The combination of poor defending and general affinity for attacking football creates some massively inflated goalscoring totals.

The overall quality of the league has waned. Going back just three or four years, you saw a much stronger league, and one much different than the present. The lack of money coming in has meant the Eredivisie is losing more players than it can replace, and it's falling even further back in the European pecking order.

As the goalscoring stays the same, the amount of talent behind those goals is decreasing.

This time last year, there were probably supporters calling for the club to buy either Bas Dost or Luuk de Jong. They were the leading goalscorers in 2011-12—with 32 and 25 goals, respectively. Dost ended up going to Wolfsburg, where he scored eight goals in 28 Bundesliga games, while de Jong went to Borussia Monchengladbach and scored eight goals in 28 Bundesliga and Europa League matches.

Are any supporters begging the Reds try and get Dost or de Jong this summer?

With Bony, you don't know what kind of player you're really going to get. He could become a world-class finisher and make me look like an idiot. Of course, he could also become nothing more than a solid striker on a mid-table club.

Spending £14 million is a lot for a striker who's had one really good season in the Eredivisie. For a club wanting to move into the top four, the standard should be set a little higher than Bony.