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Wilfried/Bony At Manchester City

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Wilfried, or Bony, if you like, should make his long-awaited debut for Manchester City in Saturday's game against Newcastle. What can we expect in the present, and the future, from the multi-talented Ivorian?

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What do we know about Wilfried Bony? We know a little, but maybe not as much as some other observers do. And that's OK, they can help fill us in:

We have scout reports aplenty from 2013 onward: linklinklinklinklink.

We have video of his time at Vitesse link.

We have video of his time at Swansea link.

And we have the obligatory 'Welcome to....' video:

Imagine a youtube video with non-offensive music.

We have profiles on Bony from The Telegraph and The Guardian which both talk about Bony's strength and multi-faceted game. We read words about pressure, power and skill. The following sums up most journo's take on Bony:

Wilfried Bony’s numbers make for fascinating reading. Standing less than 6ft tall, Bony tips the scales at 91kg, which would make him a heavyweight in the world of boxing. He is the multilingual striker who played as a centre-half until the age of 14. Most significantly for Manchester City, who have parted with £25m to sign the Ivorian, Bony is ranked as the fifth-highest goalscorer across the top six leagues in Europe since the start of the 2012-13 season.

I could try and write a glowing profile on Wilfried Bony's strengths and weaknesses but, quite frankly, I don't know enough about the player to do him justice. Most don't, and that's OK. I have probably only seen Bony play around 5 or 6 times and I was hardly playing close attention to him even if I did notice him.

What I can do is bring you some numbers. All numbers need a lot of context and they should only be used as part of an overall appraisal of a player. Numbers are not definitive, nor are they sCaRy!

So, we have the scout reports, we have seen the videos and now read the profiles, here are the numbers.

The handy Objective Football site lets you sort through various player data and it is from there that I have pulled these 14/15 numbers.

Can Bony Score? 0.62 goals per90 minutes (5th)

Can Bony contribute to all goals scored (goals + assists)? 0.76 per90 (10th)

What about Bony's shot volume which is a pretty good indicator of future goals? 4.6 per90 (3rd)

Shots on target volume? 1.9 per90 (4th)

Shots Contribution? 5.9 per90 (6th)

These are pretty strong numbers for a guy who played on an offensively weak Swansea team. Bony's shot volume and shots on target volume are good and it has led to the scoring of goals at a good rate without the need for any inflated shooting percentages.

Here are some of those numbers in visual form, which will help us get a better idea of how Bony stacks up against some of the league's best:

Goals & Assists

The further right a player is the better his goals per90, the higher a player is the better his assists per90.

Bony is right around the secondary pack of guys on this chart. Interestingly,  Jovetic isn't that far away from Bony on this chart. Two bits of context: Jovetic has played far fewer minutes than Bony thus we need to be wary of Jovetic's small sample and these guys are completely different players who completely different skill sets.

Shots & Key Passes

This is where Bony stands out: Only Aguero and Balotelli shoot more than Wilfried Bony.

These 14/15 numbers aren't a one off either. In the 13/14 Premier League, Bony's numbers looked like this:

  • 0.58 goals per90
  • 0.73 scoring contribution per90
  • 3.94 shots per90
  • 4.85 shots contribution per90
  • 1.46 shots on target per90
  • 72% of minutes played.
Wilfried Bony has been a consistently very good forward in the Premier League for 2 seasons now. He is a high volume shooter who gets his shots on net and scores at over a goal every other game. Marry these strong numbers to what people say about Bony's strength, durability, excellent feet, movement and ability to score all kinds of goals and it is clear to see why Manchester City were both interested and willing to part with significant money to acquire his services.

January signings may occasionally be mocked as acts of desperation but the signing of Bony feels a little different. He is talented, different. Bony should be an excellent player for Manchester City in the present and medium term.

Will Bony continue to score and shoot as much as he has done for Swansea? We don't know: he was the focal point for Swansea, albeit playing with a lower caliber of players. At City he will be just another talented forward option but the quality of his team-mate and thus the quality of opportunities will now surely be higher.

Bony should be a pretty good bet to cover his transfer fee and at least continue to score at over a goal every other 90 minutes. That should be good enough to become Manchester City's #2 striker.