Vitesse Arnhem’s striker Wilfred Bony looks set to join Swansea City according to reports in Holland for £10.2m. Will the Ivorian International improve the Swan’s strike force though in their European debut season?
After the departure of Danny Graham in January the striker’s role for Swansea was filled by Luke Moore and a more advanced Michu as Laudrup was unable to sign a replacement. As they look to compete on domestic and European fronts this season though a successful summer transfer window is essential.
Michu, as its been well documented, was a major success for Swansea last season scoring 18 goals in his debut Premier League campaign. The Spaniard is naturally an attacking midfielder though, with his strength being utilised as he drops deep to win the ball and his late runs into the box which has seen pundits in Spain dub him the ‘Spanish Frank Lampard’.
The backup strikers for Swansea in the second half of the season were Luke Moore and Itay Shechter (who has now finished his disappointing loan spell at the club), scoring 3 and 1 goal(s) respectively.
Michu’s 18 goals meant he scored 38% of Swansea’s Premier League goals, as De Guzman and Routledge were joint second in the club’s scoring charts with a lowly 5 goals apiece. With the added games, and the risk of Michu losing form, next season Laudrup will want to ensure that he brings in someone who can guarantee goals – Bony is that player.
Wilfred Bony finished the 4th highest league goal scorer in Europe this season with 31 league goals behind Messi, Ronaldo, and Philipp Hosiner from Austria Wien. More impressive though is the fact he achieved that record in 30 league games, obtaining an average of a goal every 85 minutes compared to Michu’s 168 minutes per goal.
Bony’s record at Vitesse is 52 goals in 71 games since joining Vitesse in January 2011 for €4m from Sparta Prague and he has managed to get into double figures in the last 4 seasons.
A worry for Swansea fans will be the memory of a previous prolific striker coming to England from Holland in the form of Alfonso Alves, who was a major flop for Middlesbrough.
Like Michu, Wilfred Bony’s physicality is one of his strengths and is a presence in the air, which will help him to adapt to the Premier League, however he isn’t a target man. The style of football played by Swansea would suit Bony as he likes to have the ball fed through the defence on the floor, often linking up well with a ‘number 10’, and this tactic has seen him score goals in Holland.
The Ivorian striker is also involved during the build up stages of an attack and has managed to assist 8 goals for his team in the league, meaning he played a part in 39 goals all season – 57% of Vitesse’s total goals.
At the age of 24, Bony has more time to adapt to his new club than Alves did during his time at Middlesbrough as he faces tougher defences than those he has bullied this season in the Eredivisie, whilst also joining a club who will guarantee him chances to score.
Overall, this looks to be an excellent move for Swansea as they continue to develop and with Bony added to their squad will be a threat to teams both domestically and in Europe.