It is looking increasingly likely that John Stones will be moving to Manchester City with a fee of £50m being rumoured. It has been reported that Ronald Koeman is keen on including Wilfried Bony in the deal, as the club’s attacking options need strengthening. Bony is a bit-part player at City, while his role under Pep Guardiola is likely to be even less than it was under Manuel Pellegrini. He showed that he could be a regular scorer in the Premier League during his time with Swansea City and he could be a good pickup for Everton.
Everton have Romulu Lukaku, Oumar Niasse and Arouna Kone on the books. All three are not guaranteed to be starting the season with the Merseyside club. Lukaku is believed to be keen to move to a bigger club, as he feels he has outgrown Everton, especially as the club failed to qualify for Europe last season. Although Koeman will likely want to keep the Belgian, he may do more harm than good if he is forced to stay. It has been reported in recent days that Koeman is ready to let Niasse leave, making him one of the biggest flops in Premier League history, after only playing five times for the Toffees. There is an obvious need for reinforcements and City’s pursuit of Stones gives them the opportunity of getting Bony as part of the deal.
Bony is smaller in stature than Lukaku, but he possesses a lot of power and can be a good replacement for the Belgian if he does leave. If they manage to keep Lukaku, a move for Bony would still make a lot of sense. It would add quality competition, which in turn could prove to motivate Lukaku to perform more consistently. If the former Chelsea striker is wearing an Everton shirt next season, it will be crucial that Koeman motivates him and gets him playing his best football.
The Ivorian is good in the air, and a strong finisher in the final third. He can score all types of goals and that is why he appeals to Koeman. Bony is a complete forward and suits Premier League football, as he showed during his time at Swansea. He links up the play well and is an underrated passer of the ball, capable of playing threatening through balls. A striker in the Premier League needs to be physical and capable of holding up the ball, and Bony suits that profile. At 27, he will be keen to show that he can still be a regular goalscorer at this level and has a few years left at the very top.
His spell at City has showed some weaknesses in his game that were hidden at Swansea. Bony doesn’t add much to the defensive shape to a side, and struggles to press from the front, something that was evident at City. He also didn’t get as many chances when the side wasn’t set up around him as it was at Swansea. During his spell in Wales, he thrived as the side’s main goal threat and his importance caused his performances to rise. Although he wouldn’t get the same role at Everton, he would get more game time than he has got since moving to the Etihad.
Koeman moved to Everton as he wants to freedom and finances to build a squad capable of challenging for the top four. He thinks that its more likely with Everton rather than Southampton and this would be a great signing that showed he made the right decision. His former club would never have looked to bring a player in like Bony as a second choice. Although Lukaku may yet leave, this would significantly strengthen Everton’s position, if they became less reliant on their star striker. If they can get Bony as part of the deal for Stones, it will strengthen their squad and limit the disappointment suffered by the fanbase.