Football

Wilfried Bony could save Swansea City

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Swansea City star Wilfried Bony (©GettyImages)
Swansea City star Wilfried Bony (©GettyImages).

For a team like Swansea City, whose near extinction just over a decade ago and subsequent rapid rise through the Football League has been well documented, £12m is a lot of money to spend on one player, which is why eyebrows were raised and expectations were high when that exact amount was spent on acquiring striker Wilfried Bony last summer. 

Rising high to guide a powerful header, Bony's goal at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal on Tuesday night was the Ivorian's 20th of the season since joining from Dutch club Vitesse last summer, a haul that includes eleven league goals, more than the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Christian Benteke and equal with Robin van Persie.

Despite these impressive statistics, Swansea have found themselves in a relegation battle and overly-reliant on Bony's goalscoring exploits.

When former manager Michael Laudrup brought Bony in, the expectation would be that the 25-year old would form a partnership with last season's top scorer Michu, who signaled his desire to play in a preferred deeper role.

However, the two star men were not able co-operate immediately, and this, as well as an ankle injury that sidelined Michu for ten weeks, meant that much of the burden to provide goals for the Welsh side was left to Bony, a situation compounded by a failure to bring in adequate back-up in the January transfer window. 

But Bony, who is expected to be a part of Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign this summer, has risen to the occasion in a league campaign where Swansea have struggled to deal with back room issues and a demanding Europa League campaign. And after poor results at home against fellow strugglers West Brom and Crystal Palace, the 2-2 at Arsenal was only their third point in their last six games, but could prove to be vital. 

The Welsh side host Norwich at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday sitting just five points above the relegation zone, but with Michu and now Jonjo Shelvey back from injury, Garry Monk's team will be quietly confident they can get a positive results and put some breathing space between them and the bottom three.

It is Bony's presence, however, that gives Swans fans hope that they can remain in the top flight. His strength on the ground, powerful shots and aerial presence gives the Swans a variety in attack and different outlet from their usual patient, clever build up play.

While Bony may well be the man who edges Swansea over the line of Premier League survival, they will have to ensure that going forward, they are not too reliant on his contribution, and whether that means bringing in a player that can compete with Bony in the summer, or finding a way to accommodate both him and Michu into the side successfully, they will have to ensure they get the most out of this talented and dangerous striker. 


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Topics:
Wilfried Bony
Football
Swansea City
Premier League
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