Wilfried Bony was one the most highly touted summer signings this season in the Premier League. However, settling in as a footballer in South Wales has taken some time for the Ivorian who had scored 51 times in Dutch League action over the past two seasons. The presence of Michu in the Swans team seems to limit Bony’s touches on the ball and chances in front of goal early in the season. Injuries also played their part as the striker has already had two spells this season on the sidelines.
This past week though, beginning with a New Year’s Day brace again Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium and culminating with yesterday’s game-winner shocking upset win at Old Trafford, The Swans’ £12m record signing has come good. Bony is thriving with Michu out of the lineup due to injury at a time when Swansea badly needs goals. Before the FA Cup clash with Manchester United, Swansea captain Ashley Williams spoke to Sky Sports about Bony’s play.
“The game on New Year’s Day was the best he has performed for us. I am really pleased for him. His two goals were the big positive we took from a defeat.
“Hopefully now he can keep his place in the team and we can give him that confidence to know he’s wanted. We can build our game around him.
“You can see his qualities. He’s something we’ve lacked over the last few years, a bit more of a presence up front.
“He’s strong and he’s got that appetite to score goals and succeed. We’re pleased to have him. I just hope he gets a run now.
“I think, with strikers, so much of what they do is about belief. They need to know they are going to play, and that they’re wanted and a big part of the team.
“That’s definitely the case with Wilfried and I think he can use this to take big steps forward for the rest of the season.”
Bony’s movement off the ball, strength in the air and positioning defensively have all improved since his last injury spell in early December. Eventually that has led to goals. And while the Swans are still struggling for results, his emergence means it is probably only a matter of time before that changes.
Michael Laudrup knows the quality and potential game-changing ability Bony brings to the Premier League. That’s why he spent a small fortune by Swansea standards to secure his services. It took half a season but it appears the Ivorian is now not only settled but is in a position to impact Swansea’s progression in the FA Cup and Europa League while helping to steer the club to mid-table safety in the Premier League.
Editor’s note: For the latest Swans news, analysis and opinion, visit the Swansea City team page.