LONDON: It’s not only an injury crisis in attack which has made Manchester City determined to add Wilfried Bony to their attack, even while the Swansea striker is away at the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.

Manuel Negredo was lost last August to injury and loan home to Valencia. Then injury also claimed Edin Dzeko while Sergio Aguero remains a permanently fragile instrument of attack – even if he is one of the finest in the world never mind in Europe or the Premier League.

Last season City free-scored their way to the Premier League title but this season the goals have been more difficult to mine. Even Bony’s Ivorien compatriot, Yaya Toure, has not been able to contribute so powerfully from midfield.

Hence the need for extra ammunition if City are to power upwards and onwards in both the Premier and Champions Leagues and FA Cup. Manager Manuel Pellegrini, an admirer of Bony’s football talents, cannot but help admire the statistics as well.

One of the most important is that Bony has missed only one game in the Premier League, Swansea’s 1-1 draw with West Ham and that was because he was away preparing for the Nations Cup. His fitness record is far beyond any other City striker.

His fitness and strength are natural gifts, too. As he said once: “I don’t do the gym. I’m already big. I’ve never pushed weights. I don’t have the technique for that.” The stats tell a tale of a forward who has won 47.1pc of all tackles and 52pc of his duels in the air. He also scores a goal at a rate of just under two every three games.

The 26-year-old joined Swansea for a club record £12m from Vitesse Arnhem in 2013 and was the Premier League’s top scorer in 2014 with 20 goals. City will pay £25m cash with a further £3m in performance-related add-ons.

That fee breaks the Welsh club record sale of £15m that Liverpool paid Swansea for Joe Allen in August 2012.

City’s travails with UEFA’s financial fair play rules meant Pellegrini was not expecting to launch a major incursion into the transfer market in midseason. But once City learned that Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham were all homing in on Bony they were left with no option but to act.

As a delighted Yay Toure said: “If you have the ambition to be at the top of the Premier League, you need to recruit great players and Bony is one of today’s great players.”