Wilfried Bony has to rediscover his form next season
College Contributor Network
Since his January move to Manchester City, playing time has been scarce for Wilfried Bony and subsequently, the goals have dried up.
However, it wouldn't be fair to put all the blame on the Ivorian striker because he was exhausted after helping his nation win the African Cup of Nations and acclimating himself to a top team with one of the best center forwards in the world – Sergio Aguero – was a tall task. But, as the season comes to an end, Bony has to start looking forward to usurping some or the entire spotlight from Aguero in the next campaign.
Bony, 26, brought the football world to its feet during his time at Swansea, scoring 25 goals in league action. Before joining the Welsh club, the powerful striker tormented defenses in the Dutch league, scoring a mind-blowing 31 goals in 30 games in his last season at Vitesse. Bony's rise to fame has been well documented, but failure to live up to expectations will yield catastrophic consequences.
Individually, Bony has to light up the stats sheet next season because, over and over again, the Barclays Premier league has proven to be very unforgiving to forwards that fail to live up to their hefty price tag. A good example is former City acquisition, Brazilian trickster Robinho. The player handpicked to be the "next Pele" by the Brazilian great himself, felt the wrath of the biggest league in the world as it chewed him up and spat him out unapologetically, leaving his reputation shattered.
The same thing is currently happening to Colombian Radamel Falcao at Manchester United. Coming off a gruesome injury, a hefty amount of pressure was placed on Falcao's shoulders and he has disappointed. The experienced finisher has lost his touch and killer instincts and his career has taken a huge turn for the worse. He would be lucky if any big club tries to sign him in the summer.
Seeing that he has excelled in the Premier League before, Bony's situation is a little bit different from that of Robinho and Falcao. However, that places an extra chip on his shoulder, because he'll have no excuse if he can't produce next year. With the unlimited financial support available to Manuel Pellegrini, he could easily decide to look elsewhere for a striker if Bony can't find his finishing touch.
Also, the English media could bury the Ivorian's career as fast as he can say his name. One of the most gruesome presses in the world has proven that it has a very short memory. Bony's exceptional days at Swansea will be neglected, while his shortcomings in Manchester will be paraded for the world to see.
If Manchester City doesn't win or come close to winning the league next season and Bony fails to make himself a lethal finisher, the forward will be the scapegoat just as his Ivorian teammate Yaya Toure is this season. Even though his performance hasn't been as bad as reported, the fans and pundits have chastised Toure, who after last season was hailed as the best box-to-box midfielder in the world. Some of the players around him haven't performed at their best, but Toure has been the man placed on the trading block.
And finally, like current teammate Stevan Jovetic and former Chelsea man Demba Ba, Bony's value will take the biggest hit if he doesn't start scoring goals. Jovetic was one of the most sought-after youngsters in the world, but since he hasn't made a mark at City, he transfer fee will certainly decrease. Ba once scored 16 goals in the Premier League, but after failing to consistently score at Chelsea, he was offloaded to the Turkish league for €6 million.
Shay Awosiyan is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He played soccer for 13 years and hopes to one day become a commentator. Follow him on Twitter: @THESHAY11