Swansea City are reportedly close to making striker Wilfried Bony their seventh permanent signing of the summer as they strengthen their squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Ivory Coast international’s signature could end up costing the Swans up to £13 million ($19.4 million) from Vitesse Arnhem of the Dutch Eredivisie. Bony was highly impressive last season as he scored 31 goals in 30 appearances for Vitesse Arnhem and is being heralded as the player to take the goalscoring pressure off Spanish forward Michu.
However, as with many attacking imports from the top-flight in the Netherlands, Bony is by no means a certain success and should be regarded with some skepticism by Swansea fans.
He may have led the Eredivisie in scoring last season, but he had previously never scored 13 league goals in a season with Vitesse Arnhem or previous club Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic. Dutch website 11tegen11 suggested that this jump in Bony’s goalscoring return was lucky, as the ratio of his goals scored to shots on target was very high and unsustainable.
Bony is also one of a number of strikers to leave the Dutch league having scored an almost inconceivable amount of goals, as the poor defending throughout the Eredivisie means that less talented strikers are able to find the net with more regularity.
One example of this is Luuk de Jong, who was linked to Liverpool amongst others last season having scored 25 goals in the 2011-12 season for FC Twente. He was snapped up by FC Wolfsburg of the German Bundesliga and went on to score just eight goals in 28 league and Europa League matches last term.
The fee of £13 million for Wilfried Bony is a large amount of money for a striker unproven in the top European leagues, and it is possible he will prove the doubters wrong. However, there will be few surprises if he cannot recreate his form of last season.