£10m striker move highlights startling Swansea rise

If you had suggested to anyone related to Swansea City a decade ago that they would be close to smashing the clubs transfer record with a £10 million signing you would have most certainly been accused of tasting too much of the silly sauce.

Yet reports last week emerged which indicated that the South Wales outfit were close to the signing of highly rated forward Wilfried Bony. This would represent a more than significant coup given that the Ivory Coast man has been linked with a host of clubs throughout this current window – with both Newcastle and West Ham believed to have been interested in his services.

Bony, who for obvious and rather lazy reasons been labelled as the next Dider Drogba, has had a quite remarkable season for Vitesse Arnhem – scoring 31 goals in 30 games. This form is what has attracted the 24-year-old such interest from around Europe and if these reports are to be believed that the Swans could be set to secure his signing it will only provide us with further indication of just how far the club has come. Not only that this would be a deal that would more than outline that this is a club who have no intention of quietly settling into the Premiership background – with this move showing real ambition.

There will of course be those a little concerned that such a move is an expensive gamble and the debate for that argument does have merit – but then taking such a gamble only highlights the ambition within the club. What make this such a risk is that signing prolific goal scorers from Holland has proved hit and miss; with Alfonso Alves still giving Middlesborough fans nightmares. There are other notable examples such ar Dirk Kuyt (yes overall he was success but his once impressive strike rate was never witnessed for Liverpool), Mateja Kezman and Ryan Babel to name a few. However there is enough evidence in Bony’s attributes to suggest that he has a game well suited to England. Further to that in general there are significantly more success than failure stories in regards to highly rated African strikers who have made the move to the Premier League.

There will be those who argue that besides this one electric season Bony has been little more than average – it should be noted though that at 24 the striker is now staring to hit his peak, having previously been best described as a raw talent it seems he has now harnessed this natural ability. It is not uncommon for African strikers to fully develop until slightly later into their careers – even the greats Samul E’too and Didier Drogba didn’t peak until just past their early twenties.

Should the Ivorian adapt then Swansea could potentially become a real force next season – even more so than they were this term. Despite their incredible success under Michael Laudrup the Swans still had a significant weakness – there was a massive over reliance on the sensational Michu for goals. The Spaniard contributed a stunning 18 league strikes, yet after him their second highest scorers had just five goals – Wayne Routledge and Jonathan De Guzman. Further to this their other strikers struggled badly, meaning that there was a huge reliance on Michu.

With the second season often tougher for players who take the league by storm in a way that Michu has, the signing of Bony would prove crucial in taking some of the pressure off the striker. Along with this it is actually widely believed that Michu performs at his best playing off another striker rather than in the lone striker slot Laudrup was forced to use him in for much of last season. Bony with the strength and power he brings has the potential to provide a perfect foil – in the process giving Swansea that extra cutting edge they were missing last term.

Should this capture come off it would again outline just what a stroke of genius Swansea played in appointing Laudrup – he is a man who players clearly want to play under. Along with this such a move will highlight to the Dane that Swansea are keen to match his ambition, whilst this would also send similar signals to Ashley Williams – a player who has been at the centre of vast transfer rumours this summer.

The future is certainly looking bright for those at the Liberty and they can look forward to next season with optimism, particularly if they can bring Bony to the club for he could prove to be the missing piece in the jigsaw they need to push on further. Juggling the Europa League and Premier League will certainly prove a challenge with Newcastle the perfect example for evidence of that, nonetheless you can’t help but feel Swansea have a stronger footballing infrastructure to be prepared for that.