Manchester City have completed the signing of Ivorian International Wilfred Bony from Swansea City, the fee is believed to be around the £25m mark with added clauses based on success, appearances and goals. City fans will have to sit back and wait patiently to see Bony’s debut, Bony is currently away preparing for the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast. Probability is that Ivory Coast will go far into the tournament and Bony will come back to City at a crucial time in the season.
The signing of Bony boosts an already star studied Manchester City attack, Pellegrini revealed in December that he was chasing a striker and wanted to have four strikers at the club. City had to endure the majority of the festive period without a recognised striker, James Milner was used as a makeshift striker for the festive duration. The money stumped up to sign Bony will be recovered through the departure of Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, currently on loan at Valencia but the Spanish giants have an obligation to buy Negredo for £25m, City will have assessed all the financial details to ensure that they comply with the Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP). Serbian defender Matija Nastasic has recently joined German side Schalke on loan, the departure of Nastasic could well mean that Bony replaces the Serbian in City’s Champions League squad.
Bony was available for £19m in the summer, a release clause which was wiped out when he signed a new contract with the Swans in November. FFP regulations meant that City couldn’t complete that piece of business in the summer, Pellegrini has been keen to play down reports that Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic’s future are in jeopardy due to the Bony signing. Pellegrini revealed that Bony is a replacement for Negredo, “In January we will see if we need to replace [Negredo] or not, we are in that moment when we are going to make the best decision for the club”, Pellegrini and City clearly didn’t waste any time in getting their man.
There were rumours circulating that Chelsea were monitoring Bony’s progress and reports suggested that fellow countryman Didier Drogba was trying to influence the club to launch a bid for the former Swansea man. Bony’s arrival at the Ethiad boosts City firepower and provides Pellegrini with a variety of different dimensions and ways to hurt the opposition. Chelsea however are not blessed with as many options as City, Drogba and Remy are talismanic figure Diego Costa’s replacements. With Chelsea still currently in four competitions and Costa’s injury concerns, Mourinho is going to have to carefully rotate his strikers and ensure that Costa remains healthy and fresh for the crucial run in.
Bony’s arrival in February for City will provide a much welcomed selection headache for Pellegrini, since moving to the Premier League Bony has proved a constant menace for the Leagues defences, Bony was the Premier League’s top scorer in the calendar year of 2014 with a return of 20 goals. City now arguably possess the best strike force in the Premier League and Pellegrini will relish the time that all four of his strikers are available. However for Dzeko and Jovetic, the Bony signing may be seen as a kick in the teeth and a time for them both to carefully consider their futures. Dzeko’s time at the Ethiad has been filled with inconsistencies, at times Dzeko has been a saviour for City scoring crucial goals in Title winning campaigns. On the other hand Dzeko on many occasions has found himself given the unwanted tag of being Sergio Aguero’s understudy. Dzeko’s confidence wouldn’t of been boosted by the news that former manager Mark Hughes was keen to bring him to the Britannia. Dzeko on his day is one of the best strikers in Europe and teams such as Arsenal and Liverpool would chomp at the bit to sign someone in the mould of Dzeko. Stevan Jovetic’s time at City has been thwarted through consistent injuries and a lack of confidence, signed from Fiorentina, City had high hopes that Jovetic was going to set the Premier League alight. There is no doubt that Aguero is still the clubs pinnacle figure, but with there being constant injury concerns surrounding the Argentine the signing of Bony seems plausible. Additionally if Pellegrini is bold enough to play both Bony and Aguero then that promises to be quite a mouth-watering prospect. An Aguero/Bony partnership has the potential to rip defences apart, Bony’s sheer physical presence and Aguero’s pace and composure is a partnership that has the potential to truly flourish.
There is an argument to suggest that City have been trying to find an ideal partner for Mr Aguero for the last 3 years, the likes of Negredo, Tevez, Jovetic, Balotelli and Dzeko have all been given a chance to partner City’s starlet. That list of striking talent constitutes £125m, an expensive list which continues to rumble on, now the turn of Bony. Pellegrini will hope that Bony hits the ground running, if Bony does prove to be an instant hit and Aguero stays fit and continues to reproduce his scintillating form then few can bet against Manchester City reclaiming the Premier League title come May.