Wilfried Bony becomes the latest player to join Manchester City´s strikeforce in a move that will see him compete for playing time with Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic. With Sergio Aguero being first choice when available, we can rule out the possibility of Bony taking over from the excellent Argentinian. Questions still remain over Bony´s signing and the idea that Wilfried Bony is just another Alvaro Negredo ready to spend a frustrating time between the bench and the field is not ludicrous. However there is a difference between Bony and the other players that City having vying for places as he is unlike many that we have seen before.
Alvaro Negredo was not comfortable with the ball at his feet and only really came to life within a small area of the opponents´ penalty area. As dangerous as he was in that area, yielding 23 goals in 49 appearances for the club, the one dimensional aspect of his game was part of the reason for his inability to nail down a position in City´s best eleven. The Ivorian, on the other hand, is neither a number nine or a number ten but can play both with ease. He is a nine and a half, if there was such a thing, and his versatility is something that Manuel Pellegrini has scouted him for. There are very few things that Wilfriend Bony can not do.
Bony is quite lucky in the sense that he played in the Eredivisie in the Netherlands which is known for it´s technical and tactical brilliance while also possessing the power and kinetic excellence of an African born player. The Eredivisie came at a time in Bony´s career when he was capable of absorbing as much information that could be thrown at him. Much like a sponge from a metaphorical point of view, his body shape, however, is far from sponge-like. The Ivorian Coast native is built to last and with African football producing some of the stronger players in World football Bony is very much a product of this system. His durability might also lend itself well to his battle with Jovetic for minutes on the field. The last player to come from a physical footballing culture before playing in the Eredivisie was Luis Suarez. Both players are a hybrid of every style of striker.
He played as a number ten at Vitesse Arnhem and is quite comfortable dropping off the defensive line and picking up the ball between the lines. He causes consternation in opponents´ penalty areas with his close control, speed of thought and an eye for goal and if given the chance can really compliment Sergio Aguero as Manchester City´s second striker. His adaptation to the Premier League and his nonchalance at being one of the deadliest strikers currently plying his trade in the Premier League also make him a candidate to succeed at such a pressurised environment as this.
With Manuel Pellegrini being forced to use different formations as a way of inspiring his side to victory throughout this season, Bony has a chance to play regularly when the Chilean doesn´t need a number nine and isn´t quite content with a number ten. Where Bony will find luck is when he needs a player that is somewhere in the middle.