It is the most wonderful time of the year. No, not Christmas and not even the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day fixtures, which will see Southampton take on Arsenal and Chelsea travel to Spurs. The football world is soon entering the January transfer window again.
One man at the top of many clubs’ wish list is Swansea City star Wilfried Bony. The Ivorian is the Premier League’s top scorer in 2014, ahead of Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney and even Sergio Aguero with 18 goals, and it is no wonder the biggest Premier League clubs have been sniffing around.
Since his move to the Welsh outfit from Eredivisie club Vitesse last year, the 26-year-old has failed to disappoint and with 50 Premier League appearances and 25 league goals, Swansea's most expensive signing to date at £12m has been well worth the money, surpassing all of his team-mates’ goal tallies by far.
But although the Swans enjoyed their first ever appearance in the UEFA Europa League last season, Europe’s top-flight, the Champions League, is yet to feature on Bony’s CV. The summer saw Manchester City, alongside Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, interested, but a deal failed to materialise and Bony committed to Swansea until 2018.
Of course, this doesn’t mean much and will only add a few more million to his price tag. But who needs him most?
Brendan Rodgers’ men have failed to be as free-flowing this season since the departure of Luis Suarez, with new signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert failing to hit the mark. Liverpool could undeniably do with another striker up front and Bony’s style of play could change their fortunes, particularly with the creativity of Adam Lallana behind him.
With the real possibility of no Champions League football next season, Liverpool are faced with tough competition for the Swansea player’s services however, with Manchester City another likely destination. Bony is 4/1 with Paddy Power to team up with Sergio Aguero as they look to close the gap on leaders Chelsea. It would undoubtedly be a formidable partnership, but with the riches of talent at the Etihad, it is unclear as to whether Bony would get the first team action he would like and deserve.
Edin Dzeko and Stefan Jovetic have both been regulars so far this season supporting the Argentinian, whilst David Silva, Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, Frank Lampard and of course Yaya Toure provide a lot of competition in and around the attack.
However, there is also reason for Bony to move to Arsenal or Chelsea. He would provide more threat alongside Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez and could make a substantial impact at the Gunners who are both injury prone and desperate for more silverware; meanwhile at Chelsea, Bony could be the perfect replacement for Didier Drogba as the 36-year-old approaches his final hurrah in the game.
It is likely a move away from the Liberty Stadium is inevitable – and despite Bony penning a one-year contract extension with Swansea last month, it is likely to be sooner rather than later. For one set of fans the Ivorian will make it a very happy start to the new year. But whether that is in Wales, London, Liverpool or Manchester, we will have to wait and see.