Manuel Pellegrini backed striker Wilfried Bony to be a success at Manchester City after scoring on his first return to former club Swansea City on Sunday.
The Ivorian scored his side’s fourth goal in a 4-2 victory at the Liberty Stadium, with City staving off a Swansea fightback to secure a top-three Premier League finish and maintain their bid for second.
Bony – hampered by injuries since his January move to the Etihad Stadium – received a warm reception from the Swansea fans when he was introduced as an 85th-minute substitute and rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.
“That was the reception that he deserved because he was a very important player here in Swansea,” said City boss Pellegrini.
“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.
“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 I’m absolutely sure we bought the player that we need.
“I am absolutely sure that he will be an important player in our future.”
With City 3-2 up following Yaya Toure’s second strike of the game, Joe Hart pulled off a sensational save to deny Federico Fernandez an equaliser.
“It was a beautiful save in a very important moment,” added Pellegrini. “He has improved a lot this season.
“Bringing Willy Caballero was good for him because he has more competition.
“But the most important thing is that he has an open mind. He is just 27 and he must improve in a lot of things and he is working hard to do it. We have seen the result of that this season.
“I think he is starting the peak of his career.”
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