If you asked football fans across Europe who were the hottest young strikers to be watching over the next few years, it is unlikely many of them would mention Wilfried Bony. 

Yet the man from the Ivory Coast has been setting the Eredivisie alight over the past season and now the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea have been linked to the player who has scored 26 league goals this season. 

Is all this hype justified, though? 

The Dutch top division is certainly a step below Europe's best leagues and it is well known that the defending on show is far from the top ability. 

And while it is easy to point to the likes of Luis Suarez, it is even easier to point to the likes of Afonso Alves and Majeta Kezman.

Bony started his career in his native Ivory Coast before moving to Sparta Prague, initially on loan and then permanently. He was hardly sensational in the Czech Republic but his goal ratio - 22 league goals in 59 appearances - was enough to persuade Vitesse to splash out £3.5m in order to bring him to Holland. 

He took time to settle in his first season, but in his first full campaign with the club - last season - he managed a very respectable 17 goals in 30.

However, it is this season that he has really come to the fore. With 26 goals in 24 appaearances so far, Bony is the top scorer in the Eredivisie and the main reason Vitesse are putting in such a strong showing for a Champions League place.

He may not be gifted with a plethora of speed but his tremendous strength means he is more than a match for most centre backs and his aerial ability is superb. He is also very good mentally. His awareness of what is around him and his reading of the game allow him to make some excellent runs. 

Bony's finishing is also very good, but the main concern for any club looking to bring him into one of the top divisions in Europe would be his experience. He hasn’t produced any real standout performances for Vitesse in Europe or for the Ivory Coast and that suggests he may struggle in a league with greater defensive standards.

On the face of it Bony looks like an extremely tempting prospect, but at this stage in his career it is perhaps too early to know whether he’ll be a Suarez or an Alves. 

While it looks like he could be the former, it is too tricky to know, especially with the Dutch league. 

Last season’s top scorer, Bas Dost, is currently struggling in Germany for Wolfsburg so we will have to wait and see with Bony. 

It is looking increasingly likely he’ll move in the summer; his potential to succeed, however, is less clear. 


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