Has Bony's loan move to Stoke left Manchester City with a lack of options?
The signing of Wilfried Bony to Stoke was confirmed earlier on transfer deadline day, with the forward signing on a loan deal according to Sky Sports News. The Ivory Coast international had joined Manchester City for £28 million in January 2015, and made 15 appearances under ex-manager Manuel Pellegrini. But has his departure actually made Manchester City a little short-staffed in the striking department?
Of course, it helps that City have one of the most interesting managers in world football and one of the best attackers in the game, in the form of Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero respectively. The Argentinian striker has a goal record of 105 goals in 135 appearances for City, according to Soccerbase.com, and any forward in the world would struggle to compete with those stats. However, Aguero does struggle to maintain fitness for a whole season and a lack of alternatives may come in crucial in the title race.
Currently, Aguero has been charged by the FA and could miss the Manchester derby played after the international break. It is vital that City find the means to replace Aguero and take the game to Manchester United, in order to find a head start in the title race.
The Citizens have various options they could use, including using talented youngster Kelechi Iheanacho. This could be risky against a Jose Mourinho team, and so perhaps Pep will turn to less of an out-and-out striker, in Raheem Sterling or the fit again Leroy Sane.
Both could offer pace, and a degree of the unexpected to the United back-line. While risky, it is worth noting that any player surrounded by the midfielders at City and playing with Pep’s style of football will surely get chances to test the opposition’s ‘keeper.
However, could the likes of Iheanacho, Sane and Sterling be enough to lead the line throughout the season, should Aguero get injured? There is always new signing Nolito, who has the guile to work between the lines, and according to the Man City squad website, Marlos Moreno too when he arrives. Other than that, City will be very reliant on a fully fit Sergio Aguero.
Wilfried Bony probably did need to move on in order to further his career, especially as he hadn’t featured in any of City’s games so far this season. He will improve Stoke, and have a chance of getting back to his Swansea City days, in which he had a goal record of 25 in 43 appearances. Any striker who can return to that record is going to vastly improve himself, and his club. As for Manchester City, who would dare question Pep Guardiola anyway?
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