With a deal for Queens Park Rangers' Loic Remy no longer an option, Liverpool are reportedly turning to Swansea City's Wilfried Bony to strengthen their front line. For the right price, the Ivory Coast international could be a more than adequate alternative to the Frenchman.
Swansea's chairman Huw Jenkins recently told talkSPORT that Bony could be available for clubs currently competing in the Champions League, as reported by Goal's Chris Davie:
Wilfried Bony is a fantastic guy to have around the club. He was a great professional with us last season and he’s the same now. If a club come in for him, a top Champions League club, and put the right offer on the table he knows full well we will speak to him about that. We are open like that. I think we have to be. As much as we want players to stay with us, we’ve also got to be realistic with where we’re at and try to make sure we continue to bring good players into the club.
Such an offer would have to be in the neighbourhood of €24 million, per Davie, and in a summer transfer window that has seen a multitude of clubs overspend to bring in players in areas of need, such a fee would seem more than reasonable for a talented 25-year-old striker.
Bony took some time adjusting to Premier League football last season, but once he found his groove, a return of 16 goals in 34 matches was nothing to scoff at, per WhoScored.com.
The Ivorian is a classic power striker, making excellent use of his physique in and around the box and showing remarkable proficiency in front of goal. While he wouldn't make for a particularly exciting addition, he could help the Reds in several key areas.
New signing Rickie Lambert is a solid striker in his own right, but he's not as explosive as Bony and would be better served as a bench player used in key situations and cup matches.
Bony has the build to play as a lone striker, but he could be equally effective flanking Daniel Sturridge in a two-man front. With just one season of Premier League experience, it's safe to say his best football still lies ahead.
The forward isn't the biggest name on the market, and fans still hoping for a player of the caliber of Marco Reus or Xherdan Shaqiri will likely be left disappointed should a move materialise.
But unlike many of the big names on the transfer market, Bony is a realistic target for Liverpool—and one that wouldn't require the club to break the bank in dramatic fashion. As reported by talkSPORT, the Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis knows the player is "desperate to go to Liverpool."
Lewis gave his take on the player, and he thought it would be a smart investment for the Reds:
He scored 14 goals last season, he's adapted to the Premier League and we know he's going to hit the ground running. We don't have to wait for him to find his feet in what is a very fast paced league, so we've got the player we want. With [Rickie] Lambert as well, they've got a guy with the right attitude and he's going to come off the bench and score goals. You wouldn't imagine Lambert starting too many games.
With the 2014-15 season edging ever closer, Liverpool need to be quick if they wish to find an adequate replacement for Remy. Spending south of £20 million on a relatively young striker who has proven he can score in the Premier League seems like a perfect solution.
Bony isn't Luis Suarez, and he's never going to replace the Uruguayan's production.
But he's a smart investment who will at least add depth to a team adapting to the heavier work load the Champions League brings, and surrounded by top-class players demanding defensive attention, there's no reason to think he couldn't hit the 20-goal mark in his first or second season with the club.
You can never have too many quality scorers in your squad, and for the right transfer fee, that's exactly what Liverpool would be getting in Bony.