Belfast Telegraph

Manuel Pellegrini: Wilfried Bony will prove to be right buy for Manchester City

By Phil Blanche

Manuel Pellegrini is convinced Wilfried Bony will become "the player we need" despite the striker's struggles following his move to Manchester City.

Bony has started only twice for City since leaving Swansea in January for an initial £25m fee which could yet rise to £28m, but the Ivory Coast international showed the scoring instincts which brought him 34 goals in 70 games for the Swans against his old club on Sunday, netting late on as a substitute in City's 4-2 Premier League victory at the Liberty Stadium.

And City manager Pellegrini feels Bony will justify the club's huge investment in him next season after the 26-year-old's difficult settling-in period at the Etihad Stadium.

"He was very unlucky maybe this year when we bought him because he started by going to the Africa Cup of Nations and he came back with a lot of games in his body," Pellegrini said.

"After that he had an important injury in his ankle and his knee in the same leg, so he stopped for about three or four weeks.

"After that we won five games in-a-row and I didn't want to make changes during this moment, but it's very important for him to play the minutes he can, first last week against Queens Park Rangers and now he has participated with a goal at Swansea.

"I am absolutely sure we bought the player that we need and that he will be important in our future."

Bony's fellow Ivorian Yaya Toure scored twice at Swansea, but speculation persists that he might leave Manchester City after five successful seasons at the club.

Pellegrini insists that he wants the 32-year-old, whose brace took him past the 50-goal mark in the Premier League, to stay.

"I like to have a technical midfielder and a scoring midfielder," Pellegrini said.

"Yaya has scored a lot of goals last year and this year and our players like to play offensive football."

Pellegrini also believes French defender Eliaquim Mangala will benefit from his first season in the Premier League.

"I think Mangala is improving in every game," Pellegrini said.

Belfast Telegraph

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