Manchester City winger Jesus Navas has told M.E.N. Sport that believes new man Wilfred Bony can fill the hole left in the wake of compatriot Alvaro Negredo’s departure.
Negredo, 29, returned to Spain in September to join Valencia on a season-long loan after just one season in England, with the La Liga side obliged to make the move permanent for £24 million at the end of the campaign.
Having made a £16.4 million switch from Sevilla to Manchester last summer, the Spanish striker netted an impressive 23 goals in 48 games during his time at the Etihad Stadium, but failed to score in his last 16 appearances after returning from an injured shoulder.
He then suffered a broken metatarsal in pre-season before being moved on, despite leaving the Blues with just three senior forwards, with manager Manuel Pellegrini later revealing that Financial Fair Play restrictions were the main factor in his departure.
Struggles to maintain a fit strikeforce since prompted the club to delve back into the transfer market last month, however, with £28 million splashed out on Bony’s signature.
The Ivorian front man, who is due to return from a triumphant African Cup of Nations campaign this week, has scored 26 goals in 54 Premier League game since arriving at Swansea City from Vitesse in 2013, and Navas is hoping he will add an extra dimension their attack.
“Bony is a top striker who has always performed very well when he’s played against us,” Navas said.
“He is powerful, has good technique and excellent movement so I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him.
“He is a great addition to the strikers we already have and I think he will do really well at City.
“Wilfried has similar strengths to Alvaro in that they both play very well with their back to the goal. That will give us something different and add a new dimension to our attacks. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him.”
Both Bony and international teammate Yaya Toure will be unavailable for Wednesday’s trip to Stoke City, which Navas sees as a must-win for the title race after dropping two points against Hull on the weekend.
However, after losing at home to Mark Hughes’ side earlier in the season, the former Valencia man is taking nothing for granted.
“Stoke are a team who are very well organised and very disciplined,” he added. “As we saw in the first game, if you are not focused and even momentarily lose concentration, they can hurt you – just as they did at the Etihad.”