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Should Wenger cough up £19m for Swansea's Wilfried Bony?

Wilfried Bony Ivory Coast

Wilfried Bony scored 25 goals in all competitions last season, but should Arsenal splash out £19million for the Ivorian striker?

Arsenal, have been told they will have to cough up £19million if they wish to bring Swansea striker Wilfried Bony to the Emirates, according to the Mirror.

It is understood that the fee is the buyout-clause for the 25-year-old, who has had an impressive debut season in the Premier League; scoring 25 goals in all competitions and earning a place in the Ivory Coast’s World Cup squad.

Arsenal are seeking striking help for Olivier Giroud, after the Frenchman struggled to carry the scoring burden on his own. Arsene Wenger has admitted that the north Londoners relied too much on Olivier Giroud last term and recognizes at least one new striker needs to be brought in as a result.

Meanwhile, the Swans seem resigned to losing their star man and have already raided the Eredivisie for a replacement, agreeing a fee of £6.5million with FC Twente for striker Luc Castaignos.

The main question will surround the Ivorian’s price tag; is he worth the £19million that is being suggested?

Here we evaluate his stats from the previous Premier League season.

Goal Scoring

  TeamPosGoalsmins / GoalsShot Accuracy (%)Big Chance MissedGoals in OpenplayAppsMins
Wilfried Bony Swansea FW 16 154.50 37.04 9 9 34 2,472
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 16 192.56 33.93 20 13 36 3,081

Bony’s goal scoring is perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game, yet, on first reflection his statistics in this area appear almost identical to those of Olivier Giroud.

The duo finished the season level with 16 strikes apiece, however, Bony scored considerably more often than the Frenchman, plus he boasts a superior shooting accuracy. The Swansea man is also responsible for missing fewer gilt-edged chances.

Passing and Creativity

  TeamPosKey Passes / appsTotal AssistsKey Passes in Open PlayPass Accuracy (%)Final Third Pass Success Rate (%)
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 1.03 8 29 68.94 59.85
Wilfried Bony Swansea FW 0.74 4 21 74.06 59.33

Giroud trumps Bony when it comes to creative contribution, especially considering the number of assists he provided throughout the past campaign.

The Frenchman creates a greater number of chances per appearance, plus he boasts a slightly superior final third pass success rate. Although, in terms of overall passing accuracy Bony sits in pole position.

Work Rate

  TeamPosBall Recovery / appsInterception / appsWon Tackle / appsTotal Clearance / appsAerial Duel Success (%)
Wilfried Bony Swansea FW 2.18 0.18 0.29 2.12 43.21
Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 2.06 0.53 0.58 1.11 52.71

While not an essential trait for attacking players, work rate and defensive contribution helps to illustrate the overall temperament of a player.

This area provides a mixed bag when analysing the stats. Bony reigns supreme in terms of ball recovery and total clearances per match, whilst Giroud contributes more regularly in terms of tackling and the rate at which he has intercepted an opponent’s move.

The Frenchman has also proven himself as the more effective of the duo in the air; winning just over half of his attempted headers.

Conclusion

There’s little to separate the two strikers, but Wenger recognizes the need to expand his strike-force and based on the similarities between Bony and Giroud, the former would prove a good addition in terms of suiting the current system.

Wenger needs to match the top Premier League club’s in the transfer market if he wishes to continue competing at the highest level, but he will struggle to find a recognized goal scorer, playing at his peak level of performance, for less than £20 million.

Whilst the Ivorian offers less than Giroud in terms of creativity, he has provided a greater goal threat throughout the course of the season. Considering he scored 16 goals whilst playing for Swansea, who knows what he would be capable of with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey providing support from midfield.

For £19 million, signing Wilfried Bony would be a fantastic coup.

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