Why Swansea's Wilfried Bony would be a smart bit of business for Arsenal this summer
2.14K // 22 May 2014, 00:30 IST
To put it simple, Arsenal need a new striker. Olivier Giroud has had a decent season but needs help and for far too long, he was mediocre and tired.
Arsene Wenger needs to sign a new striker to fit seamlessly into his starting XI. That striker should be Swansea City’s Wilfried Bony.
The Ivorian signed for the Welsh club after a stunning season in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem. Bony scored 25 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions for Swansea last season and, despite playing so many games, looked more fresh towards the end of the season than he did at the start.
Giroud scored 16 goals in the Premier League which was the same as Bony at Swansea, however, the Welsh side scored 14 fewer goals than the Gunners (68).
The French striker scored 23.5% of Arsenal’s goals in the league while Bony scored 29.6% of the Welsh side’s goals. He was their main focal attacking threat for the majority of the season and was their only good striker in 2014.
In fact, in 2014, Swansea scored 30 league goals and Bony got 12 of them, contributing to 40% of their goals this year. Bony scored 9 more goals than any other Swans player. He even assisted three more goals, too, so Bony – in 2014 – was directly involved in 50% of Swansea’s goals. That record alone proves how useful he is.
In comparison, Giroud scored eight goals of Arsenal’s 31 in 2014 – a contribution of 25.8%. The Frenchman, too, assisted three goals so was directly involved in 12.
He showed his class in big games against Manchester City, Liverpool and Man United and has a goal record over the past couple of years that would suggest he could hack it at the top level.
Often, when players arrive in the Premier League from the Eredivisie, they struggle. Afonso Alves and Mateja Kezman will testify to that, but Bony seems perfectly suited to the physical, fast nature of the English league.
In terms of goals, we can agree that Bony is more effective. He scored 16 league goals at Swansea but in a side that scores more goals and creates more chances, he’s far more likely to score a lot more. Due to Giroud playing a lot more often than Bony, we have to average out results to 90 minutes.
Bony comes out on top in terms of goals, averaging 0.58 goals per 90 mins, while Giroud averaged 0.47.
One thing Giroud does hold over Bony is chance creation. The Frenchman has an excellent touch and it brings the likes of Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil into final third. When it works, it really does work. Giroud has created 1.09 chances per 90 mins and Bony averaged 0.91. Not a huge difference but it is Giroud’s best attribute.
A set of forwards of Bony and Giroud would be a good mix for Wenger. They’re both creative and Bony could be used as the main striker and scorer. Giroud would be a decent back-up for Bony and being able to possess two fresh strikers capable of scoring 15-20 goals each will be brilliant for the Gunners.
They need strength in depth, especially in attack, so Wilfried Bony is a signing there to be had, one that can’t be missed out on by Arsene Wenger, not after the number of high profile strikers who have slipped through the net in recent windows.