Malmo 0-0 Swansea: Wilfried Bony, Michu Will Form a Fantastic Partnership
Over the course of two games in which Swansea City recorded a 4-0 aggregate victory over Malmo, Michael Laudrup made it clear he has every intention of letting his new strike partnership gel from the word go.
Seven changes were made for the visit to the Swedbank Stadion with the away side sitting on a 4-0 lead, but both Michu and Wilfried Bony were started and given the chance to continue building an understanding.
Michu was the star of last season, notching 18 goals and two assists in 35 starts to make him the revelatory signing of the summer.
Going into the new season, however, Swansea knew they needed to acquire help.
They did so in the form of Bony, who arrives from Vitesse Arnhem to the tune of £12 million and slots instantly into Laudrup's starting XI.
The Ivorian scored an astonishing 31 goals in 30 starts in the Eredivisie last season, but there's always a question mark over how well a talent from the Dutch league will adapt to English football.
Laudrup has given him every chance, and where many managers would have preferred to save their star players for the opening-day tussle with Manchester United, Bony and Michu took to the field for what is already their second competitive game in each other's company.
The tie in Malmo was a little drab, with Swansea understandably playing a conservative, risk-free game given their first-leg advantage.
But no matter the stage, the stakes or the competition, it's become clear very early on that Bony and Michu are two clever players who can excel alongside each other.
Bony's presence as the central striker in Laudrup's 4-2-3-1 formation allows Michu to move back into the No. 10 role he prospered in with Rayo Vallecano.
He's now free to roam in front of the defence and find space, although Alejandro Pozuelo's insistence on cutting in from the right-hand side seriously harmed his fortunes in Sweden.
Watching Bony's goals in the Eredivisie, they look uncontested—easy. Watching him in the flesh reveals that's only the case because of his excellent movement and flawless understanding of what midfielders are looking for from their front men.
Bony is strong as an ox and very adept at keeping the ball in tight spaces, ensuring that he can drop in deeper and Michu can surge forward. Those interchanges and link-ups are going to be extremely hard to track.
Laudrup's insistence on playing them this early is a good sign for Swans fans, who can begin to look forward to a truly excellent partnership blossoming on their team.
Swansea needed to find someone to relieve Michu of the goalscoring load, and it looks like they've found the perfect man.
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