In profile: New Swansea striker Wilfried Bony

Sports Mole takes a closer look at the abilities of Swansea City's new signing Wilfried Bony.

After much negotiating, even more patience and a bit of fight to beat the competition, Swansea City yesterday completed the signing of Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony for £12m.

Last summer the Swans made headlines as Michu became the bargain signing of the season. This time, however, it is for a different reason as Bony becomes their record signing.

As an Ivory Coast international coming from the Dutch league, Bony is fairly unknown to many followers of the Premier League. So, Sports Mole has taken a look at what sort of player Swansea have got for their money.

Ivory Coast forward Wilfred Bony celebrates a goal against Angola on January 30, 2012© AP Photos

In a world of football that increasingly requires strikers to do it all, powerful and fast forwards come at a premium. A premium is certainly what Swansea have paid but even by just looking at Bony it is clear that the 6'0" Ivorian has the ability to bully defences.

That fact was perhaps best illustrated last season, as he brushed aside the comparatively weaker centre-backs of the Eredivisie to the tune of 31 goals. That many goals in any of Europe's top leagues is quite an achievement and there is little wonder that there were other clubs circling around the striker.

Of course, there is never truly a way to tell if a striker can translate his form in the Eredivisie into the Premier League until he has the chance. Mateja Kezman was even more prolific in the Netherlands for PSV Eindhoven before his move to Chelsea was deemed a failure after just four league goals. Equally, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored for fun for PSV and then did the same for Manchester United.

With Bony having admitted to drawing inspiration from former Chelsea great and every Premier League defender's nightmare Didier Drogba, Swansea will be hoping that Bony can prove to be even half as good as the Galatasaray man. Certainly, he shares a lot of his attributes.

Ivory Coast's Bony Wilfried scores against Algeria on January 30, 2013© AP Photos

Bony has a calmness in front of goal that some players have yet to develop by the age of 24. He knows what he wants to do when he gets a chance and as such - just like Drogba - can finish calmly, powerfully or go around the goalkeeper. Although Michu has done similar for Swansea last season, Bony will add a further sense of unease for any opposing defence.

That said, probably his best attribute is his ability in the air. He is not the tallest player by any stretch of the imagination, but has a knack of drifting into space in the box, which makes him incredibly hard to mark. With crosses coming in from the Welsh side's wingers such as Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge, Bony is certain to get plenty of chances to prove his ability in the air.

In all, he is an intelligent player who knows how to use his strengths, which is just the sort of signing Michael Laudrup looks for with his preference for attractive, passing football. There will of course be a period of time needed for him to gel, but Bony's attributes are already well-rounded so rather than continuing to develop as a player he will just need to get used to the pace of his new environment.

In the past season, Bony scored as many different types of goal as are possible, with his movement likely to be a joy for a creative Swansea midfield. He drops deep, leads the line and pulls into the channels, which is exactly what is required from a lone striker.

The question will remain for a while as to whether he can step up to the English game, but the signs are that he will be able to fit right in to Swansea's style.

Sociedad striker Carlos Vela, when playing for Arsenal on July 30, 2011
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2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
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4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
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17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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