Liverpool’s search for a strike partner for in-form Luis Suarez has seen them linked with a host of big names including Jan Klaas Huntelaar, Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge, Gary Hooper, Theo Walcott and Demba Ba.
The need for a second striker, to ease the partner on Suarez has been well documented. The Uruguayan has scored 10 of Liverpool’s 17 league goals this season.
Manager Brendan Rodgers is well aware of the need for re-enforcements and has indicated that he plans to add two strikers to his roster in the January transfer window.
The latest name to be linked with the Reds is in form Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony. The Ivory Coast striker has emerged, from nowhere, to become this winter’s must have mid range priced striker.
But who is the 23 year old striker that has set the Eredivisie alight this season?
While Liverpool fans may not be overly familiar with the striker, Bony will be familiar with Anfield having spent time on trial with the club back in 2007 as an 18 year old failing to impress then boss Rafa Benitez.
The Ivorian was on the books of Issia Wazi in his homeland then and despite failing to impress the Liverpool hierarchy he still managed to secure a move to Europe with Czech side Sparta Prague taking a chance on the 6ft forward.
Bony began with Sparta’s reserve side before moving up to the first team where he performances caught the eye of Vitesse who paid €4 million euro to bring him to Holland in 2011.
Their gamble paid off last season with the striker scoring 17 goals and creating 8 however this season he has moved to another level and in 12 games has bagged 12 goals.
His tally includes match winners and point earning strikes against Feyenoord, Heracles, Heerenveen (hat-trick) and a brace against Ajax, which secured a first win since 2001 in Amsterdam to lead the club to 3rd place in the table.
Nicknamed the “African Hulk” Bony is seen as the natural successor to Didier Drogba. Like the former Marseille man the Vitesse man is big and burly, strong on the ball and a good finisher and has four goals in 13 caps for the Ivory Coast.
The interest from Liverpool is new and with Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton, Wigan and Aston Villa also interested the Reds will have a battle on their hands to secure the services of Bony, especially with the player himself has welcoming the interest from Roberto di Matteo’s side, referring to the link with the European Champions as an “honour”.
Bony is contracted to Vitesse, one of Holland’s wealthier sides back by the money of Georgian Merab Jordania, until 2015 and would cost in the region of £10 million pounds.