28 Oct 2014

Legend blasts: LFC made 'big mistake' not signing 'unplayable' £19m star. Sign in January?

When it comes to LFC talking points, Mario Balotelli continues to be polarise fans, pundits, manager, and ex-players alike, and ahead of Liverpool's Capital One Cup game with Swansea tonight, Swans legend Ian Walsh has argued that the Reds made a 'big mistake' choosing Balotelli over Wilfried Bony.

Over the summer, Liverpool were heavily linked with a move for Bony, and even late into the transfer window, regular reports from a variety of sources claimed that the Ivorian was Liverpool's top target.

Indeed, in mid-August The Mirror claimed that:

* Bony was Rodgers' top transfer target, and LFC's boss pushed hard for the signing.

* BR was happy to meet Swansea's £19m valuation, a fee that is enshrined in his contract.

* Bony was keen to sign for Liverpool, whilst another source recently claimed he was 'desperate' to join the Reds.

For whatever reason, the deal didn't materialise, and speaking to the BBC today, Walsh argued:

"It's a big mistake. Bony is on the upward trend and for me there would only be one choice. They are both quality players but Wilfried Bony has shown his character"

Walsh also outlined the major difference between Balotelli and Bony:

"The biggest part of his game is not his skill or his finishing ability, but his want. His desire to be in the right place at the right time and to keep scoring goals."

I agree with Walsh here. I argued in favour if signing Bony, but there was/is a discernible level of antipathy from Reds fans towards the striker. However, there are number of positives to consider:

* First and foremost, 'unplayable' Bony's stats for Swansea in his first season are excellent:

- Overall: 27 goals/6 assists in 50 apps.
- Goal/Assist every 1.5 games.
- League only: 16 goals/4 assists in 27 starts.
- Goal/assist every 1.3 starts.

* The Ivorian basically carried on where he left off in 2012-13, when he proved himself to be a goal-machine for Vitesse Arnhem:

- 31 goals/8 assists in 30 league games.
- Goal every 85 minutes.
- Goal/Assist every 67 minutes.

* No settling-in time required. Should be able to hit the ground running.
* Should score more at LFC as he'll be playing with better players.

* According to Swansea boss Gary Monk: "He [Bony] is a proper professional. He's not the sort of player to take it easy. Every single day he pushes himself and everyone around him. The more players like that you have in your squad, the better you're going to be."

Bony sounds similar Luis Suarez in his approach to the game: constantly pushing for the best, and always demanding 110% effort and commitment.

Additionally, like Suarez, he is a man of steel, and is seemingly impervious to injury. Whenever I've watched him play, the Ivorian's amazing body strength is clearly evident, and with Daniel Sturridge susceptible to regular injuries, it would've been beneficial to have another solid unit in the team.

In terms of effort and desire on the pitch, Bony and Balotelli are poles apart, and I'm sure the same fans who rubbished the idea of signing the Ivorian, are now wishing Rodgers had chosen him instead.

With 6 goals/assists in 10 appearances so far, Bony is also massively outperforming Balotelli this season, and if both players start tonight, it will be interesting to see who fares best.

As much as I hate to say it, my money is on Bony.



  1. how is bony desperate for a move to liverpool XD hahahaha clueless kop

  2. Bony would cost you a lot more than 19m now boys..... Try 25m :-)

  3. How would it! The 19 mil clause is still in his contract unless he's signed a new deal I haven't heard about

  4. To be honest this article is a joke. First of all Ian Walsh is not a legend by any stretch of the imagination, just an ex footballer. Secondly do you have one single shred of evidence to support your claim that Wilfred was "desperate" to join Liverpool or was it just media speculation. Third there is another obscene transfer window coming up in January so why is Wilfred now looking to extend his contract with Swansea.
    Last but not least Bony was not and is not for sale in the summer or now, I believe articles such as this are disrespectful both to the player and his club. Ian Walsh shut up.

  5. If Lallana and Markovic are worth that much then your probably right.

  6. So "desperate" he didn't join

  7. U really went Stephen french on that article

  8. You are just the latest in a long-line of people who are seemingly incapable of reading things properly. The source for the 'Bony is desperate to sign for LFC' is clearly stated, and linked.

    Additionally, you are speculating in exactly the same way by emphatically stating that Bony is 'not for sale', and that he is looking to extend his contract, as if you know the contents of his head.

    And transfer speculation is not disrespectful in the slightest. It's part of football, and Walsh has just as much right as you to voice his opinion.

    Perhaps you should stop being so intolerant of opposing views, and realise that your opinion is not the be all and end all on the subject.

  9. Hindsight would be the best foresight. I think at the time we all felt Bony's price tag was too excessive. I certainly did and that's why I was against that transfer, not because I don't think he's s good player. Now however, I'd swap him for Mario in a heartbeat

  10. I wish we'd signed Bony too... Sad times.

  11. Not BR only mistake in the transfer windows.

  12. At the time, as much of a fan of bony I am, I probably would have chosen Balo. The pedigree and the fee would have been the main factor but also the fact that we'd lose Bony to the cup of nations for a long time during one of the most important time in the season.
    I'm a Kenya, so I'm a big proponent of us signing someone from the continent if they're good enough for LFC (Wanyama please?). But at a position where we obviously needed to replace most of Suarez' output from, I would have chosen someone who's form wouldnt be distrupted by such a long international break; so im not going to act like I knew Bony was a better overall option all along coz I didnt.
    Obviously my stance has changed somewhat since but Crouchie took even longer before he went on a very good run....fingers crossed Balo's luck is going to change

  13. The 19mill buy out clause is itself pure speculation mate, Wilf is worth every penny of 25m and if (and it's a big if) he was looking to move on in January he'd be looking at the likes of Arsenal / Chelsea etc not you lot

  14. Why would he want to go to Chelsea when he is regularly getting time at Swansea and could also get regular time at Liverpool? Also, Arsenal.. Nice one.

  15. Can't help thinking LFC had a snobby attitude to Bony. He established himself in the Dutch league yet his credentials was always questioned. He continues that form in England, oh he's a one season wonder. 20mill for Bony was foolishly stated as ott but for his strength, hold up play, natural finishing & link up play he would have been worth every penny. My order of preference was Remy because of pace, Bony then Ballotelli. Just because the first two are more accustomed to playing the lone role & less likely to court controversy.
    Sell Borini at all cost & go for Bony in January, albeit at a higher price.

  16. At the start of next season we will have Origi and with Borini clearly not having a future we will most probably sign a replacement when he does go either in January or the following window then our attack is sorted.

    I would much rather go look for a powerhouse right centre back than spend another £30m on another forward. Swansea will milk us dry and Bony in the end will be way overpriced. Swansea will not be letting bony go for £19m, that is for sure and in that case can keep him.

  17. I wish Alexis Sanchez would have said no to London and signed for LFC. Still a bit miff about him going to Arsenal.

  18. I wanted this deal in the summer and argued for it it many times. Wasn't keen on Balo. Sh1t being right sometimes.

  19. Not all of us mate. I thought twenty Mil seemed alright for what we were getting.

  20. Fair enough bud and you may well have been right. It was just my opinion at the time that he was a bit pricey. Like I said, if what's written in the article is true, I wish now that we'd just shelled out the extra 3 mil and got him instead of Mario

  21. Good point mate, I'd forgotten about that. That will be a massive disruption to his season

  22. Garray went for 12m cost more now

  23. They are different kinds of players so there is some tactical element to it all. Of course tactics count for nothing if Mario can't be brought around to what Liverpool actually need for him. Perhaps the club saw more potential in Balotelli and/or a better combination with Sturridge. I'd expect JK to point out that Bony and Sturridge would both prefer to play through the middle as the front-line centre forward while Balotelli does like to come deep and have the ball early on.

    Putting those minor points aside it does seem like an odd decision to not go for Bony in the summer. There were rumours of him asking for too much money but I would have thought he was otherwise enthusiastic to come play for Liverpool. He has the right attitude, he's strong and determined ... it does seem kind of obvious. However given where we are now I don't think he's the answer in January. While we can say he would have had a bigger impact that Balotelli it doesn't mean he's someone we should now try and sign. We already have Balotelli and, frankly, saying someone is better than him doesn't mean much. We need to aim somewhere higher than either of them, a player who will really add some class up front and be more the kind of player we lost in Suarez.