Sometimes it seems as if Manchester City look to land certain players just so a number of their most competitive rivals are forced to miss out on highly coveted signatures. As there is more money than even Pep Guardiola could willingly spend on offer behind the scenes at the Etihad however, perhaps such an outcome should hardly arrive as much of a surprise…
Whilst Manuel Pellegrini’s current outfit aren’t the only club looking to employ such a tactic in the modern Premier League era of course – with several questionable glances seemingly offered up to those all-important money-men down at Chelsea as well – it remains to be seen whether or not this growing trend can really signal positive steps for the English game in the long-run.
Take Wilfried Bony for example. The former Swansea City striker was once considered a near £30m player worthy of being an understudy to Sergio Aguero in front of the Etihad faithful. Yet after a string of frustratingly timed injury complaints and several ineffectual performances for the Citizens over the course of the last 18 months, the Ivory Coast international now looks a forgotten man.
So then, as West Ham have certainly looked to benefit from the major transfer blunders of their more financially assured rivals in the past – think back to the high profile capture of Andy Carroll from Liverpool – could Wilfried Bony really look to resurrect his Premier League career for Slaven Bilic’s determined Hammers?
Well, although the player in question has admittedly looked a little off the pace so far in 2015/16, and far from his best in and around the opposition’s penalty box it must be said, this is a striker who certainly knows how to find the back of the net.
Bony’s statistics for the current domestic campaign hardly make for promising reading in the cold light of day, but as the 27-year-old front-man has largely been forced to carry out his business as a glorified bench-warmer for Man City. Pellegrini clearly hasn’t offered the powerful Ivorian a sustained opportunity to showcase his full range of talents.
When playing in the groove with the full backing of his manager, Bony would improve 90% of the sides currently operating within the English top-flight. Via his physical presence inside the final third, creative link-up play with his attacking colleagues all across the pitch, and natural striker’s instincts in one-on-one situations when played through in front of goal, the former Eredivisie sensation certainly knows how to get the job done.
…And whilst West Ham have seemingly targeted both Michy Batshuayi and Alexandre Lacazette as their prioritised striking options ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, the current Man City forward could still represent somewhat of a shrewd capture for the Hammers.
Bony could easily be seen as a smart back-up choice should either of the aforementioned Ligue 1 strikers fail to end up in the east of London this summer, but even if one of Batshuayi or Lacazette eventually find themselves wearing the claret and blue, the Ivory Coast international could still potentially be considered by the West Ham hierarchy if Man City are willing to sell the 27-year-old striker on the cheap.
West Ham can always do with more back-up in their often injury-plagued striking department after all, and despite Bony’s obvious quality, it still remains relatively hard to envisage Guardiola sticking by the front-man when all is said and done.
So then, whilst the current Etihad striker arguably shouldn’t be West Ham’s first choice striking target this upcoming summer, Wilfried Bony is one player who should nevertheless receive his fair share of consideration from the Hammers board…