Belfast Telegraph

Swansea boss Paul Clement backs striker Wilfried Bony to rediscover form

Swansea boss Paul Clement insists Wilfried Bony will become a Premier League force again.

Bony returned to the club where he enjoyed so much success when he completed a £12million switch from Manchester City last month.

The Ivory Coast striker scored 34 goals in 70 appearances for Swansea before joining City for £28million in January 2015.

But Bony, who has started the last two games in league and cup against Reading and Watford, is yet to score in four Swansea appearances this time around.

"Wilfried will need time to find match sharpness because he hasn't played regular football for a couple of seasons," head coach Clement said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

"But from what I have seen Wilfried is still a goalscorer.

"He still has that power and I have no doubt that he will score goals for this club."

Clement feels that Swansea's late transfer activity is responsible for their shortage of early-season goals.

Only rock bottom Crystal Palace have scored fewer than Swansea's three and their 10 shots on target is the lowest in the league.

"We are working on that and I fully believe we are going to keep improving in that area," Clement said.

"The fact that there were so many ins and outs has had an impact on us in the early part of the season.

"The more this team train together and play together the better they're going to get."

Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches also arrived late on transfer deadline day, on loan from Bayern Munich, and has been working to improve his fitness levels.

Sanches was left out of the 2-1 home defeat to Watford but he could return at West Ham.

"It is possible he can start again, I brought him out last weekend but he is in contention," Clement said.

"Renato is in a similar situation to Wilfried. He didn't play regular football last year, he's come to a league where the intensity is much higher and the culture is different.

"Roque Mesa is also adapting to a new league, all these are examples of players that are playing minutes for us and just need that little bit of time to get up to speed.

"There is lots of work to be done, there always will be whether it is game six or 36.

"You always have to get better, be it physically, tactically or in confidence, and it will be the same all the way through to the last game."

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