Paul Clement has insisted striker Wilfried Bony did not return to Swansea to play a bit-part.
The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international, who scored 34 goals in 70 appearances during his first spell in south Wales, signed for the club for a second time in August two and a half years after leaving in a £28million move to Manchester City.
He has figured only three times for the Swans to date since his £12million return and started for the first time in Tuesday night’s 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at Reading, but Clement is confident he will make a major impact once again as the club attempt to cope with the dual loss of Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Asked rhetorically if Bony had come back to play a series of cameo roles, the manager said: “Absolutely not. He wants that [to be a big player], we want that.
“That’s why he’s back here, to make a big contribution for this club. He has signed a long-term contract here. But he is keen, he is keen to go and get on the pitch and show what he is able to do. He’s a very good player.”
Clement revealed he still has a decision to make over up to four positions for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Watford at the Liberty Stadium, and that Bony is one of those who is in his thoughts following the win at Reading.
He said: “He’s another one that I’m thinking about and I’ll decide late on that one. But I was pleased with his physical output and his fitness condition is good. He’s definitely in consideration for a start this weekend.”
Swansea have lost both of their home league games to date this season, to Manchester United and Newcastle, and that is a record Clement is determined to address this weekend as he locks horns once again with former Hull boss Marco Silva.
The Hornets were trounced 6-0 by Manchester City at Vicarage Road last Saturday, but the Swans boss is wary of a backlash.
He said: “Marco is obviously someone who clearly is a good coach, gets his team playing, gets his team well-organised and they are going to want to have a quick reaction to that.
“That’s what happens when you are a coach, when you are a player and you have had a really disappointing result, you want an immediate reaction and they are going to be coming here fighting for everything because you don’t want back-to-back losses.
“You do everything you can to stop that happening.”