Wilfried Bony’s proposed move to Manchester City has been met with varied levels of confusion by many a football fan.
Of course the deal makes sense from a financial perspective; Bony is the top Premier League goal scorer in 2014 and Manchester City more than have enough money to reward him for that.
But the big question on most of our lips is where the big Ivorian will fit into Manuel Pellegrini’s plans at the Etihad.
While Swansea have been to some extent carried by Bony’s efforts in front of goal the relationship at the Liberty Stadium has definitely been symbiotic in nature.
The Swans’ free flowing passing style of football is complimented nicely by Bony’s strength when holding up the ball allowing the wide-men to get into goal-scoring positions.
But the 26-year-old also has that poacher’s edge and is constantly in the right place at the right time to stab the ball into the back of the net – almost like a lovechild between Michael Owen and Emily Heskey in someways!
You could also argue that he has benefitted from a distinct lack of competition at Swansea in recent months as Bafetimbi Gomis has not pushed for the Ivorian’s starting place as much as Garry Monk had hoped.
But you’d be foolish if you were to expect Bony to receive the same comforts at Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrini already has an established star striker in Sergio Aguero and is usually reticent to play more than one up front – so you’d imagine that Bony would have to play second fiddle to the Argentinean.
And to anyone pointing out Aguero’s injury please remember that by the time Wilfried Bony returns from the African Cup of Nations the striker will have returned to full fitness.
Suit his style?
But more importantly Manchester City do not play a style of football that suits Wilfried Bony - of late they have almost reverted to a kind of tiki-taka; and as Diego Costa showed at the World Cup in Brazil there is no place for a big man at the tip of that.
And Pellegrini is not the kind of man, and Manchester City are not the kind of club, who will bend their system to fit a new player.
Admittedly Balotelli did play a pivotal role as a holding striker supporting Sergio Aguero when the Citizens won the Premier League in 2012 – but that was under Roberto Mancini whose methods were quickly questioned by Pellegrini upon his arrival at Eastlands.
Emirates more appropriate than Etihad
It is this author’s opinion that a more suitable destination for the Swans man would have been Arsenal.
If there’s any other team in the Premier League with a similar playing style to the Swans it is the Gunners whose passing style game is complimented nicely by Olivier Giroud holding up the ball and posing an aerial threat too.
Admittedly you could argue that Bony would face just as much competition there than he would at the Etihad with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez all in good form.
New Gunner in the Arsenal?
But injuries are a regular feature at the Emirates Stadium which means team rotation is a regular activity for Arsene Wenger.
Not to mention that Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have also doubled as wide players – which would have benefitted Bony’s chances of securing a starting centre-forward berth.
Of course Bony may relish the prospect of competition at the Etihad but given his undisputed position in the Swansea team during the last 18 months we simply haven’t seen him attempt to cope with that yet – but this author believes he should stick rather than twist.