Modern-day football is dominated by extravagant transfers and money-spinning wage packets.
That’s why, when Wilfried Bony moved to Manchester City back in January 2015 for over £25m, a few eyebrows were considerably raised.
The Ivory Coast international was a huge success at Swansea, but he has struggled considerably at Manchester City and has scored just 10 times since signing for the club. He was lined up to be the man to replace Alvaro Negredo or Edin Dzeko as Sergio Aguero’s main back-up man, yet in reality he’s done little to suggest he’s worthy of a place off the bench.
It was always realistic to suggest that the former Vitesse Arnhem man wasn’t going to displace Aguero from the Manchester City, with the Argentine likely to remain the chief attacking focus at the Etihad for years to come.
However, with Manuel Pellegrini leaving the City hot-seat this summer and Pep Guardiola coming in to replace him, there could be scope for a fresh start for Bony. Bony plays very much as a lone striker, the big man who will attack ball-after-ball from pacey wingers. Likewise, Sergio Aguero often plays on his own up-front and offers so much more. He’s a dribbler, a passer and he has great movement. Injuries sometimes impact his impact, which is the only glimmer of light for Bony in terms of game time.
As a result, many have touted the 27-year-old for a summer move this summer, but where can he go? After all, the need for a striker out-of-form can’t be that great, right?
Apparently not though, as West Ham United are reportedly interested in making a move for the big striker, whom they may feel could lead their charge at the new Olympic Stadium. His wages will no doubt be an issue though, with the Hammers unlikely to be prepared to pay such lavish sums.
Another issue for Bony will be the excellent form being shown by Kelechi Iheanacho whenever he is given the opportunity. The young Nigerian is an exciting prospect and has been solid when thrust into the team. Whether he will go onto lead the line for City or not is yet to be seen, but when there are teenagers above you in the pecking order, it’s clear that something needs to change.
That’s no knock to Icheanacho though – he’s been brilliant and the fact he’s found himself above a proven goalscorer in the past is fantastic for him and shows how well he has developed this season.
It’s difficult to see what happens next for Bony though. He’s a talented player and you don’t go from being one of the Premier League’s hottest prospects to being simply useless in one transfer. Being surrounded by fellow top-class stars doesn’t make you a lesser player, it should further your development.
But, wherever Bony ends up this summer, it’s clear to see his immediate future isn’t at the Etihad. A summer move might reignite his career – after all, you don’t lose your quality overnight.