English Premiership

Toure, Bony lead EPL exodus

2015-01-12 12:39
Yaya Toure (AFP Photo)

Johannesburg - Ivory Coast team-mates and probable future club-mates Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony headline the departures from the English Premier League for the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins this week.

Toure, star of Manchester City's title success last season, made a sluggish start to the campaign, but he has rediscovered his best form in recent weeks, scoring seven times in his last 11 appearances.

His goals and driving midfield displays will be badly missed by Manuel Pellegrini's side, who are breathing down Chelsea's necks in the battle for the English crown.

But the blow has been softened by the news that Frank Lampard's contract has been extended until the end of the season, delaying his arrival at City's sister club New York City FC.

City also coped reasonably well in Toure's absence during the last Africa Cup of Nations in 2013, winning twice and drawing twice while the former Barcelona player was in South Africa.

"Yaya is a big miss for us because of what he has done at the club, but we have to deal with that and carry on this run we have been on," said Toure's midfield colleague James Milner.

Swansea City are likely to find it altogether more difficult to compensate for the absence of Bony, who was the league's top scorer in 2014 with 20 goals and has found the net nine times this season.

But with the 26-year-old poised to complete a 28 million ($42.5 million, 35.8 million euros) move to Manchester City, he is likely to have played his last game for Swansea already.

Swansea manager Garry Monk can at least turn to France international Bafetimbi Gomis, signed from Lyon during the close season, but he has found the net only four times in his 22 appearances to date.

"Bafe is a different striker to Bony, but he is outstanding and I want him to enjoy this period and get some goals," Monk said. "He is a class striker and now he is our main striker."


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