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What might Manchester City’s Wilfred Bony add to Ronald Koeman’s Everton?

Dan Zeqiri

Successful signings are often the product of favourable circumstances; the right player becomes available at the right moment, for a reasonable fee and brings something the buying club is lacking. The same can be said for unsuccessful transfers, and a player’s stock can plummet should he choose the wrong move at the wrong time.

This is very much the case for Wilfred Bony. Given the dearth of strikers available on the market currently, Bony should attract more attention that he presently receives. However, since moving to Manchester City where he has been a peripheral and incongruous figure, Bony has become something of a forgotten man.

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Ronald Koeman though, is set to hand the Ivorian a chance to revive his career at Everton. Newspaper reports suggest Koeman is keen to involve Bony in any potential dealings with City over John Stones. Romelu Lukaku’s long term future at Goodison Park is also uncertain which could behind their new manager’s thinking. Bony is a limited, but often very effective, forward who could enhance Everton’s forward line.

His goalscoring numbers tell their own story. Bony bagged 22 goals in 48 league starts for Sparta Prague, 46 in 62 for Vitesse Arnhem and 25 in 43 for Swansea City. At 27, he still has a handful of good seasons left in him. Goalscoring ratios such as those quoted above are highly sought after, and clubs scour the continent armed with bulging pockets trying to procure a reliable goal-getter.

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Goalscoring is exactly what Bony does, though not a great deal besides. The fact he is slightly one dimensional probably puts many of the big clubs off him. Nowadays, the prevailing orthodoxy is to play one striker with a supporting cast arriving from wide or deeper areas. Managers want their striker to be a multi-functional player who can hold the ball up, link play, run the channels as well as their main job which is putting the ball in the net.

Out and out finishers such as Bony have probably suffered as a result, along with other strikers in this vein such as Javier Hernandez or Lukas Podolski. They all prefer playing as one of a front two. Teams are less inclined to carry a ‘poacher’ within their ranks, preferring a forward who contributes to the team’s offensive and defensive work.

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Ronald Koeman usually played with one striker at Southampton, but did switch to 3-5-2 for a period last season to accommodate Graziano Pelle and Shane Long in the same XI. Some of Lukaku’s best football last term came early in the season when he had Arouna Kone buzzing around him. It could be that Koeman envisages the two of them leading the line together.

Furthermore, Southampton regularly topped the statistics for crossing under the Dutchman’s guidance and this is the type of service on which Bony would thrive. The former Swansea man has good spring and is surprisingly effective in the air for a striker who is not particularly tall. Bony thrives on this form of direct service, which is why he always cut an odd figure in a Manchester City shirt. City’s build-up play was based the beguiling talents of David Silva, who would patiently probe and look for cute angled passes around the edge of the penalty area. Such intricate patterns of play were never quite to Bony’s liking.

Koeman’s teams play possession football of course, but the ball tends to get into the box far more quickly. Romelu Lukaku will like the sound of that, and he and Bony have the potential to be a threatening partnership. Bony to Everton has the look of deal that could suit all parties.

Featured image: All rights reserved by chao1989

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