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Bony faces fight for place in Man City team after joining

January 14, 2015
FILE-In this file photo taken on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, West Ham's James Tomkins, right, competes for the ball with Swansea's Wilfried Bony during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Swansea at White Hart Lane stadium in London. There will be no Didier Drogba and no Samuel Eto’o. For the first time in more than a decade, both of Africa’s most celebrated players will be missing from the African Cup of Nations after retiring from international soccer. It’s a chance for other players to make their mark at the continent’s top tournament. Wilfried Bony may be even more important to Ivory Coast than midfielder Yaya Toure. Without Drogba, Bony could emerge as the Ivorians’ new No. 1 striker at the African Cup following his stellar year in 2014 with Swansea in the Premier League. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
FILE-In this file photo taken on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, West Ham's James Tomkins, right, competes for the ball with Swansea's Wilfried Bony during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Swansea at White Hart Lane stadium in London. There will be no Didier Drogba and no Samuel Eto’o. For the first time in more than a decade, both of Africa’s most celebrated players will be missing from the African Cup of Nations after retiring from international soccer. It’s a chance for other players to make their mark at the continent’s top tournament. Wilfried Bony may be even more important to Ivory Coast than midfielder Yaya Toure. Without Drogba, Bony could emerge as the Ivorians’ new No. 1 striker at the African Cup following his stellar year in 2014 with Swansea in the Premier League. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Wilfried Bony joined Manchester City from Swansea on Wednesday to strengthen the English Premier League champion’s striking options and fulfil his dream of playing in the Champions League.

Although City paid around $40 million for the 26-year-old forward, he will be competing for a starting place alongside Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.

“Competition is normal,” Bony told The Associated Press after signing a 4 1/2-year contract. “It’s the best players that will make me better. So I will work and then we will see (what happens).”

Bony completed the deal while in Abu Dhabi with Ivory Coast ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs through Feb. 8. The competition could prevent Bony from making his City debut for a month.

He will hope to be in the team for the round of 16 Champions League game against Barcelona on Feb. 24, while helping City defend its Premier League title.

“It’s for the (Premier League) title and to play the Champions League is why I decided to join Manchester City,” Bony said in the interview in Abu Dhabi in French. “It’s a team that can be champions (of Europe). We can see this for four years. This is very important for me to make a step forward in my career and I am very happy for this.”

City is second in the Premier League after being held on Saturday by Everton, two points behind Chelsea.

“It’s a team of champions, a team that always look to be champions and win trophies,” Bony said. “So I will join in this spirit, and it’s up to me to create my own way and fight to be part of them.”

The need to sign Bony was highlighted by recent injuries which forced City to play midfielder James Milner as a makeshift forward.

Bony, who joined Swansea in 2013 from Dutch side Vitesse Arnehm, has 25 goals in 54 Premier League matches.

“He is very difficult to mark because he is so strong,” City manager Manuel Pellegrini said on the club website. “He is an intelligent footballer who has skill and power. His goals record has been excellent since he came to England.

“He adapted very quickly to the game here, and he will settle in at City quickly. He will be a very good addition to our squad. We now have four top-class strikers.”

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