It is fair to say that Manchester City forward Wilfried Bony hasn’t exactly enjoyed the career that he would have dreamt of after impressively bursting on to the scene with Swansea four years ago.
After securing a £25m move to Premier League big boys City in 2015 it’s all gone downhill for the Ivorian striker, failing to live up to his title at the time as the most expensive African footballer ever.
And the latest reports from the Independent claim that, after having a massively underwhelming loan spell at Stoke City last year, it looks like Bony could be on his way to the Chinese Super League.
It is understood that there has been interest from more than one team in China, who are set to enter a battle with French outfit Lille – a club who is believed to be Bony’s preferred destination.
But Manchester City are thought to be holding out for a Chinese Super League side to make an enhanced bid as they believe it’s the best way for them to re-coup at least half of Bony’s £25 million fee.
Where did it all go wrong for the burly Ivorian?
After hitting the headlines at Dutch side Vitesse where he scored 46 times in just 65 Eredivisie appearances he followed this up by netting 26 in 54 Premier League games for Swansea City to really put himself on the European map, almost inevitably alerting the interest of England’s top sides.
Manchester City were the ones to win the race for his signature but, despite his best efforts and frequent first-team opportunities, Bony simply couldn’t match his goal-scoring feat from the Swans.
Six league goals in 36 matches, allied with just four goals across knock-out competitions, eventually saw him drop deeper and deeper down the pecking order below both Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.
It was a disastrous fall from grace for somebody that showed so much talent and potential upon arrival in England; his power, his pace, and his all-round desire in the box was once upon a time second to none.
He has always offered a different type of threat wherever he has played, able to muscle his way into the penalty area and almost single-handedly create a chance out of nothing to give his side a boost.
Was a move to Manchester City the wrong choice for his career? Arguably, yes.
With Roberto Mancini’s 4-4-2 system at the time, he didn’t have the constant supply of crosses from wingers that he had thrived upon at Swansea – but it wasn’t like star striker Sergio Aguero was ever going to be dropped to accommodate Bony’s preferred 4-5-1 formation, and this stifled his progress.
It’s always a shame to see a player of his potential suddenly fall from the highest pedestal of the Premier League, but the 28-year-old now has to cut his losses and find first-team action elsewhere.