Wilfried Bony has escaped from an unsuccessful spell at Manchester City by joining fellow Premier League outfit Stoke City in a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day.
The 27-year-old will bolster a Stoke squad without a win in three Premier League matches this season as he aims to recapture the prolific form he displayed at Swansea City to earn an ill-fated switch to the Etihad Stadium.
Bony joined Swansea for a then club-record fee from Vitesse in 2013 and scored 35 times in 70 matches.
That return included 20 Premier League goals to stand as the division’s top scorer in 2014 but his spell in Manchester has been defined by form and fitness struggles.
He scored 11 goals in 46 appearances for the club and has failed to secure a place in Pep Guardiola’s plans as head coach.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) August 31, 2016
“Bringing Wilfried in was a no-brainer for us to be perfectly honest, because he knows the Premier League and has scored plenty of goals at this level,” Stoke boss Mark Hughes told his club’s official website.
“He has power, speed and very good physical attributes which will undoubtedly help us, and his technical and finishing skills are outstanding too.
“Eighteen months ago he was being bought for a hugely significant amount of money, so we know that we are bringing in a top quality striker.
“Everybody is aware of Wilfried and what he is capable of, and it was no surprise that one of the bigger clubs came in for him on the back of his performances for Swansea – the only surprise has been that he didn’t enjoy the success with Manchester City that we all thought he would.”
Bony follows Joe Hart as a deadline day departure at Manchester City, after the England goalkeeper’s loan move to Torino was confirmed, while Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala have been tipped to join Sevilla and Valencia respectively.
Stoke confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Lee Grant from Derby County earlier in the day.