In all honesty, last month’s transfer window was a little disappointing to say the least. Managers, chairmen, and teams throughout Europe were seemingly governed by caution above all else this winter. Transfer deadline day lacked the usual collection of panic buys and big names on the move, and it may be tha the January transfer window is losing the reputation it once held in Premier League football.
That said, the month didn’t pass entirely without note. Wilfried Bony’s £28 million switch to the Etihad, along with Juan Cuadrado’s high profile move to Chelsea, were the two most significant deals of the window. These particular pieces of business add a new dimension to the second half of the campaign, and give the title race that extra bit of unpredictability.
Despite losing their main man up top this season, Swansea City have hardly reinvested their £28million back into their striking department. Although the likes of Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton will certainly give Garry Monk some greater squad depth, there remains a clear Bony-sized hole in his attacking set-up, which surely will be addressed in the summer.
In the meantime however, how will the Swans fare for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign? And which of their stars can now step up in the absence of Wilfried Bony?
Swansea’s loss has certainly been Manchester City’s gain. The champions have landed themselves a powerful striker who can hold-up play, knit moves together in the final third, and simply score goals as if there is no tomorrow. Bony’s biggest asset is his goalscoring prowess, but it’s not just the frequency of his goals that is impressive, it’s his style as well.
Any such player will surely add some much needed spice to this season’s title race, but in regards to Swansea, Garry Monk’s side now have to prepare for life without the big Ivorian. Whilst a drop down the table and a subsequent dip in form won’t necessarily afflict the Welsh side in the wake of his departure, the Swans cant afford to take their finger off the pulse in this potentially vulnerable moment. Several of their key men will therefore have to step up and emulate Bony’s contribution to the best of their abilities, the first of which being Bafetimbi Gomis.
The former Lyon man arrived at the Liberty Stadium in the summer to a great deal of sensation, but has since failed to properly establish himself as a Premier League player and a first team starter. He may bring with him an impressive reputation in France, but Gomis certainly hasn’t been at the level many Swans fans had hoped for upon his signing. The availability of first team places have hardly been widespread for the striker however, but with Bony’s departure, now is a great time for Bafetimbi Gomis to display what he really has to offer.
Swansea can play either entirely on the deck or become a bit more direct with Gomis on board, which should play into the hands of the rest of Monk’s attacking arsenal. The likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Routledge will likely continue their good form of this season, with summer recruit Jefferson Montero still having an important role to play along with the ever-determined Marvin Emnes. Bony’s departure also sparks an opportunity for Nathan Dyer, who despite impressing large sections of the footballing community so far in his career, has perhaps not reached the levels many were initially expecting of the rapid wideman.
January loanee Nelson Oliveira could also earn a place in this Swansea team for the remainder of the season, but as his signing has hardly been touted as a ‘Wilfried Bony replacement’, the spotlight doesn’t deserve to be pointed right at the 23-year-old from Benfica just yet.
Ultimately then Manchester City’s new Ivorian striker will be a hard asset to replace for the Swans in their attempts to maintain their rise up the English leagues. As Garry Monk has a nice selection of hungry, willing, and bright players ready to step up collectively in Bony’s absence however; perhaps the situation is not as negative as it may seem for the ever plucky Swans.