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Bony in Promised Land with Swans

TEAMtalk guest Simon Yaffe takes a look at Ivory Coast and Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony following his arrival at Swansea.

Last Updated: 11/07/13 at 14:41 Post Comment

Wilfried Bony: Celebrates one of his many goals for Vitesse Arnhem last season

Wilfried Bony: Celebrates one of his many goals for Vitesse Arnhem last season

The dusty streets of Abobo are a long way from the rolling valleys of South Wales.

But then Wilfried Bony is used to change.

Having joined Swansea City for £12million, the powerful striker has overcome adversity to finally reach his Promised Land - the Premier League.

It may seem a familiar tale, but that doesn't take any shine off what Bony, 24, has achieved in a short space of time.

His prodigious talents were evident from an early age in Abobo, a suburb of Abidjan, the African country's largest city.

Bony was enrolled at an academy run by former Inter Milan defender Cyril Domoraud and was soon signed by local club Issia Wazi.

The goals flowed and he even caught the attention of Liverpool, who took him on trial in early 2007.

But it didn't work out and Bony was signed by top Czech side Sparta Prague a year later.

It was quite the culture shock to go from the Ivory Coast to the former Eastern Bloc country where racism was still prominent in the stands.

Bony, however, adjusted and soon became a hero to Sparta's supporters.

Hitting 22 goals in 59 games, he led his club to the Czech league title.

Then Vitesse came calling, inking Bony to a three-year contract in January, 2011.

Used to Northern Europe - and its cold winters - he settled in almost immediately.

Vitesse's fans adored him: Every home goal at the GelreDome was greeted with the playing of 'Daddy Cool' by 70s group Boney M, an obvious play on his surname.

It's also his nickname - and ringtone.

Bony's two goals against Ajax Amsterdam last season helped his club to their first win over the Dutch giants for 12 years.

Manager Fred Rutten labelled his performance "phenomenal".

Europe's big guns began to take note.

With an eventual 37 goals in 36 games, Bony was the subject of much discussion throughout the season.

He was linked to clubs in Italy, Russia and the Premier League, particularly to Chelsea.

The link to West London wasn't surprising, considering Vitesse's links to the West London club, with Patrick van Aanholt and Gael Kakuta spending time on-loan there.

Bony also attracted the attention of West Ham United and Marseille, but he has chosen to head for Swansea.

At Vitesse he was the main man - his team-mates played to his strengths.

Strong and with a great sense of acceleration, he'll need to become involved in the play more and become used to the Premier League's pace.

Bony, capped 20 times by his country - offers something different up front for Michael Laudrup's men, but he's ready to shine on the big stage.

The - inevitable - comparisons with fellow countryman - and iconic Ivorian - Didier Drogba have already been made.

Bony knows it - he just needs to live up to it.

Follow Simon on Twitter here

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