Should Swansea City cash-in on demand for Wilfried Bony?

Wilfried Bony
Wilfried Bony scored more Premier League goals in 2014 than any other player

Swansea City will get an indication in January of what life would be like without Wilfried Bony when the striker is away with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The club are currently ninth in the Premier League, thanks in part to Bony's nine goals so far in 2014-15.

But with Manchester City seeming set to test Swansea's resolve with a bid in excess of £30m, should the Welsh club sell their star striker in the January transfer window?

Rising stock

It is easy to see why the 26-year-old is interesting the Premier League's top sides, looking at his record since joining the Welsh club in a club-record £12m move from Vitesse Arnhem.

Bony was Swansea's top-scorer last season - scoring 25 goals in 48 appearances.

He also impressed during Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign, scoring the African side's first goal as they came back to beat Japan 2-1 in their Group C opener in Brazil and grabbing another against Greece in their 2-1 loss.

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Following the World Cup there was reported interest from Liverpool and Tottenham.

In June his agent Dalibor Lacina told the BBC that any bid for Bony would need to be around £20m to tempt Swansea to sell his client and that he would only leave the Swans for a top-six club.

Bony has since signed a new contract and any figure is likely to be beyond that now. All nine of Bony's Premier League goals this season have come in his last 14 matches.

Swansea manager Garry Monk says it will take an "astronomical" fee to prise their record signing away from the Liberty Stadium in the January transfer window.

'One of the best'

Former Wales international striker and BBC Wales Sport football pundit Iwan Roberts is among Bony's many admirers.

"Since I first set eyes on him I've been a massive fan of his," said the former Norwich and Wolves forward.

"His strength, his first touch, his ability to hold the ball up and bring other players into the game, I don't think there's anybody better in the Premier League in doing that than Wilfried Bony.

"He's not the tallest but he's very strong in the air - he can score all types of goals.

"Give him the opportunity and he normally hits the back of the net or at least hits the target, which not every forward does."

Wilfried Bony's goal scoring record
SeasonClubStats
2009-2011Sparta Prague65 apps, 27 goals
2011-2013Vitesse Arnhem69 apps, 51 goals
2013-presentSwansea City70 apps, 34 goals

International duty

Bony, will spend at least three weeks with Ivory Coast on Africa Cup of Nations duty in Equatorial Guinea and will miss home games against West Ham and Chelsea on 10 January and 17 January.

He signed off in style, scoring a late equaliser against Queen's Park Rangers to earn 10-man Swansea a point at Loftus Road on New Year's Day.

Wilfried Bony
Wilfried Bony salutes the Swans fans after his last game for the club before heading off to the African Cup of Nations

In the first match without him Swansea won 6-2 at League Two Tranmere Rovers in the third round of the FA Cup.

Monk says summer signing Bafetimbi Gomis, who scored two in that match, will be given an opportunity in his absence to stake a claim for the shirt.

Michu

Perhaps one lesson Swansea will look back on when considering whether or not to sell Bony in the January window is the failure to cash-in on Michu, when he was at the peak of his powers.

The Spaniard joined Swansea from Rayo Vallecano for £2.2m during the summer of 2012 and was the club's top scorer with 22 goals in his first full season.

His performances saw him linked with big-money moves, but he extended his stay in south Wales by signing a four-year deal in January 2013.

The former Oviedo and Celta de Vigo player's second season with the Swans was marred by knee and ankle problems and he scored only two goals in 15 starts in the Premier League.

Michu
Michu's last played for Napoli in October 2014

He is now on a season-long loan to Serie A side Napoli with a view to a permanent move, but has not played for the Italian club since October 2014.

Despite missing out on the Michu money, however, Roberts thinks the Swans have no need to sell Bony until the summer if they want to get the maximum return for their main marksman.

"I honestly don't think they have to sell him in the January transfer window," said Roberts.

"He's got plenty of years in front of him, there's four months to the end of the season. Is his value going to drop suddenly from now until then?

"Even if he doesn't score a lot of goals I don't think it would.

"Personally I don't think they'll sell him unless they get an offer that they quite simply cannot refuse."

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