Belfast Telegraph

Monk urges Gomis to fill Bony void

Swansea manager Garry Monk has challenged Bafetimbi Gomis to fill Wilfried Bony's scoring shoes and do something Manchester City's £28million man could not do - score against Chelsea.

Bony's departure to Manchester City this week has opened the way for 12-times capped France international Gomis to finally nail down a Swansea starting place.

Gomis has started only nine games in all competitions since his summer move from Lyon, but he has scored four times during his limited opportunities and Monk believes he has a ready-made replacement for Bony.

Monk says he will not be adding to his striking options having signed Benfica's Nelson Oliveira on loan last month and again pledged to keep Gomis amid reports the 29-year-old could be a January target for Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace and Newcastle among others.

"Speculation will always happen, it has happened with numerous players in the short time I have been doing this job," Monk said.

"But Bafe is looking sharp and contributing every day in training. He is fit and looking forward to this period and that's all that matters.

"He is my number one striker for this period coming up until the end of the season and when you look at the three starts he has had in the last three games I think we have seen a lot from him.

"He has been fantastic and he will only get better.

"Bafe is different to Bony but he has undoubted quality and he has proved in his career he is a number one striker.

"It's his shirt to lose now Wilfried has gone but I am looking forward to it."

Bony secured his big-money move to the English champions by finishing 2014 as the Barclays Premier League's top scorer with 20 goals.

The powerful 26-year-old Ivorian scored 34 goals in 70 games for Swansea following his £12million switch from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in 2013 but he did not manage one against Chelsea in three appearances against the Blues.

Indeed, Chelsea were the only team who finished in the top seven of last season's Premier League that Bony did not score against.

League leaders Chelsea boast the second meanest defence in the division behind Southampton but Monk expects his side to create chances against Jose Mourinho's side in Saturday's encounter at the Liberty Stadium.

"You have a chance in every single game to score goals," Monk said.

"We work incredibly hard to create situations and we have created numerous situations no matter how we play.

"Bafe knows the league. He has been here for six months and he has seen every game and has already had minutes.

"He understands how it is and I spoke to him in the first five or six games when he was on the bench and he could observe.

"He knows who he is up against, the type of football we play and what is expected.

"It's better than having to bring someone else in and trying to get them up to speed.

"I think it is more beneficial to have someone that has already been here working with you."

Monk admits he does not know how much of the Bony money will be made available to him for squad strengthening.

The Swansea manager has targeted a full-back and a central midfielder in the January transfer window, but accepts the club has plans to increase the Liberty Stadium's modest capacity of 21,000 and develop the new training ground at Fairwood to the west of the city.

"I haven't sat down (with the chairman) and asked how much have I got," Monk said.

"Of course we have targets but a lot of people will look at that sum of money and we might suffer because clubs think we have it to spend.

"But I'm not lying when I say a big chunk will be spent on the infrastructure, and quite rightly so to make the future of this club solid.

"We're a club that has always worked to our budgets and we're not going to spend stupid money on the whole squad.

"I'm looking at all positions like I always do, but it will probably go to the deadline because every club will be trying to finalise things."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph