LFC Scout Report: Wilfried Bony

Brendan Rodgers recently discussed his desire to add to his squad when the January transfer window opens. The club’s newly formed scouting team are in the process of monitoring potential targets. Head of scouting and recruitment Dave Fallows, who joined the Reds from Manchester City last month, is drawing up a list of possible targets but Rodgers insists he will have the final say on who is signed.

Here, we take a look at an Ivorian football player who currently plays as a striker for Eredivisie club Vitesse Arnhem.

Report by Pete

Ivorian Wilfried Bony is a player who would seem to neatly fit in with FSG’s mantra of a young player, decent purchase price (and ditto wages) allied with great technical ability, scoring prowess and upside potential.

Bony will probably be available in January. Vitesse bought him from Sparta Prague (2008) for about €4m. LFC actually already had him on trial in the summer of 2007, though we rejected him then. Vitesse already denied him a move to Aston Villa this summer, the offer was about €8 – 10m.

He seems to be Ivory Coast’s natural successor to Drogba, i.e. very powerful upper-body strength, very dynamic, great ball technique and allied with clinical finishing too. Already 12 goals and 3 assists in 13 matches this season in both Europa League play-offs and Eredivisie, although they were knocked out (and he didn’t contribute) in the 2 games against Anzhi, our current EL Group opponents. Also 5 goals and 2 assists in just 4 games in the Dutch play-off rounds for EL spots at the tail-end of last season.

Before that a total of 19 goals and 9 assists last season from 42 games, including the African Cup, where he was, somewhat incredibly, only really used in just a single game (against Angola), where he both scored and assisted in the 2-0 win. Drogba was still preferred throughout, even against Zambia in the Final, though Bony came on for extra time in their penalty-kick loss.

Bony looks, to me, to be the type of player that could already be ready for a serious step-up in playing level. He’s probably already by a long way the best forward in the Eredivisie this season and was increasingly so last season. He can look to be unplayable and unstoppable at times. After bagging a recent hat-trick against Heerenveen, their coach Marco van Basten was glowing in his praise, stating “An excellent player. A very clever player too, both with and without the ball.”

Just 23 years old too, so still lots of upside and nowadays seemingly increasingly unhappy to still be at Vitesse. Would expect him to be on the move and almost definitely available in January, for just €10 – 12m or so.

He is probably already at the very least at the level of Gervinho (for me) and can only get better. Bony’s nicknames are currently the “African Hulk” and the “Muscled Magician”.

Obligatory YouTube video:

I really wouldn’t mind a signing like this and I would actively like us to sign the next African superstar, if possible. Bony looks to have some real potential to emerge soon on the world stage, though the African Cup always represents a very frustrating interruption, losing a player mid-season.

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