Let’s rewind 12 months and Swansea were reportedly being offered a huge sum of money for one of their forwards, but the decision to place a £30m price tag on the shoulders of Michu proved futile in the end.
Having scored 18 goals in a debut first season and played a starring role in a first major trophy heading to Swansea thanks to the League Cup success over Bradford, Michu was deemed indispensible to the club.
Michu ended up staying and has never been the same since. He hasn’t scored a goal since October 2013 and a loan spell at Napoli has yielded no return to previous glories. If Swansea tried to sell now, £3m could easily be deemed excessive.
Not that the previous situation with the Spaniard has in any way influenced Garry Monk’s decisions about Wilfried Bony, but there has to be the feeling that a £30m offer from Manchester City will be placed on the table only once.
Bony may have scored more Premier League goals in 2014 than anyone else, with his total of 20 two more than Sergio Aguero, but what if he picked up a major injury at the African Cup of Nations that impacted his future?
Swansea were expecting to be without the Ivorian for the next month in any case and with relegation staved off in reality, their season is already winding down.
They now have four months to assess how good Bafetimbi Gomis really is and if he is short of the desired standard, the £30m is there is locate an alternative. Let’s not forget that Bony only cost £12m a little over a year ago.
The money can also be put to good use seeking out another right-back to provide competition to the deteriorating Angel Rangel and a new central midfielder to run a game in a way Swansea have become used to in the last decade, through Ferrie Bodde, Leon Britton and Joe Allen.
There is no doubting that the deal is a good one for Swansea, but what about for Manchester City?
The first point is who Manuel Pellegrini will decide to sell to ensure the Citizens don’t fall foul of their Financial Fair Play punishment?
According to Ian Herbert in the Independent, even if City ship Matija Nastasic and Scott Sinclair leaves in this window, they will still need to bring in the best part of £15m in transfer revenues to comply with the spending limit previously imposed on them by UEFA.
City will also now have the four leading Premier League scorers from 2014 in their ranks, with Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko completing the set. With three solid strikers already at Pellegrini’s disposal, buying another at the cost of weakening other areas of the squad does have the potential to look foolish.
It can be argued though that numerous title-winning teams of days gone by have had the choice of four worthy strikers – think the Manchester United treble-winning unit of Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Even City under Roberto Mancini could call upon Aguero, Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli.
So if a fourth striker was a necessity and £30m was in the safe to spend, is Bony the best choice? Perhaps the only other Premier League player that can be compared with the 26-year-old is Christian Benteke, who Aston Villa would demand a similar sum for.
Benteke returned from injury on October 4th against City and here is how the Belgian compares to Bony in a number of attacking attributes in the period since.
The main points to take out of this is that Bony has fired in double the number of shots on target and four times the number of goals.
However, perhaps for a fairer comparison, we should look at Bony’s figures from last season and weigh them against how Benteke performed in the 2012/13 campaign for Aston Villa, when he was clear of injury.
The pair are pretty much inseparable in every area, which even includes the way they bounce off defenders, the way they hold the ball up, the way they bring others into the game and the way they fashion chances for themselves.
Obviously, Bony has fitness and form in his favour, while Benteke has a little bit of extra youth on his side and has arguably racked up his impressive figures in a poorer team, with greater pressure on his shoulders.
It is almost a 50/50 toss up as to who would make the bigger difference at the Etihad, with Benteke’s need to reproduce his best after injury possibly making Bony the safer option.
A quick scout overseas may also provide a Bony alternative, especially with Edinson Cavani recently falling out with Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc.
The club fined both the Uruguayan and Ezequiel Lavezzi after the pair arrived late for a training camp in Morocco, where PSG were building some fitness after the winter break.
Cavani blamed bad weather in Argentina for his delay, even though teammate Javier Pastore made it on time from Buenos Aires.
There is the feeling that PSG would rather wait until the summer before encountering bids for Cavani, but one of a hefty sum in January could bring a change in thought.
£30m is top dollar for Bony, but if he helps fire City to the Premier League this season, which can be backed at 6/4 with bwin.com, any quibbling about the fee will be forgotten.