Jesus Navas backs Wilfried Bony to shine at Manchester City

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Manchester City's forward line has been lacking a certain something since the summer departure of Alvaro Negredo, but Jesus Navas believes they've unearthed the ideal replacement.

Navas enjoyed a productive relationship with Negredo on the pitch, and he's keen to link up with January signing Wilfried Bony.

Having cost a cool £25 million, the pressure is on Bony to be an instant hit for the Premier League champions, but Navas has backed his new teammate to shine in his new surroundings.

City struggling for goals

Having made the move to Manchester in mid-January, Bony is still waiting to make his City debut due to international commitments, and his arrival couldn't come soon enough given his new sides trouble in front of goal.

Manuel Pellegrini's side have managed just three goals in their previous five games, leaving the City boss to blame a lack of creativity in his team.

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Though Bony is an out-and-out striker as opposed to a creator, he could be the missing link that helps City get their season back on track after a terrible start to the new year.

Bony the beast

Negredo's City exit was unexpected, and City fans were rightly disappointed at losing a man they'd affectionately labelled 'The Beast'.

They've often struggled for a dominating presence up top this season, and Navas explained to the Manchester Evening News how Bony can fill the void left by Negredo.

"Wilfried has similar strengths to Alvaro in that they both play very well with their back to the goal. That will give us something different and add a new dimension to our attacks. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him," he told reporters.

"He is powerful, has good technique and excellent movement so I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him.

“He is a great addition to the strikers we already have and I think he will do really well at City."

Tough game to come for City

Despite the African Cup of Nations finishing yesterday with a dramatic penalty shoot-out that saw Yaya Toure and Bony crowned champions of Africa with the Ivory Coast, neither will be available for Wednesday's trip to Stoke.

City have struggled to gain maximum points at the Britannia Stadium in recent years and fell to a surprise defeat against former boss Mark Hughes' side at the Etihad earlier in the campaign.

After drawing at home to Hull on the weekend and falling further adrift of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League, Navas is aware that his side cannot afford another slip up, but admitted beating Stoke is no easy task.

He said: "Stoke are a team who are very well organised and very disciplined. As we saw in the first game, if you are not focused and even momentarily lose concentration, they can hurt you – just as they did at the Etihad.

“We were disappointing that day but Stoke played very well and won a game they perhaps weren’t expected to win. They are playing very well at the moment and we have to be at our best from start to finish.”

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Manchester City
Premier League
Wilfried Bony

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