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Wilfried Bony of Swansea City will only get better, says Manchester United's Alex Buttner

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

By Gareth Vincent / gareth.vincent@swwmedia.co.uk / @Gareth_Vincent

Swansea City striker WIlfried Bony.

Swansea City striker WIlfried Bony.

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MANCHESTER United star Alexander Buttner reckons former team-mate Wilfried Bony is built to thrive in the Premier League.

Left-back Buttner spent 18 months playing alongside Swansea City's record signing at Vitesse Arnhem.

And the Dutchman believes Bony is only going to get stronger.

The Ivory Coast international has just enjoyed the best week of his fledgling Swansea career, netting twice in a towering display against Manchester City before bagging the winner against Buttner's United side last Sunday.

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Bony now has 13 goals this term, and has silenced a few of the critics who were not convinced by his contribution in the first half of his maiden Swansea season.

And Buttner reckons it was always going to take a while for Bony to find his feet in English football.

"It was the same with me," says Buttner, who left Vitesse for United in the summer of 2012.

"When you are new you are away from family and friends, and football in this country is different from Holland.

"You need time to learn about English football. That goes for me and Bony as well.

"Everything is quicker and the players are stronger — they are two important things.

"Everything goes quicker with the ball and the players are better than in Holland."

Despite the step up in class, Bony looks to be settling in.

He is Swansea's leading Premier Leaguer scorer with six goals in 16 appearances, nine of which have been starts.

And his seven cup goals have come in just 11 knockout games.

Bony is a focal point for Michael Laudrup's side, and his Swansea colleagues are happier when he is in the side.

Buttner is unsurprised.

"£12 million is a lot of money, but he just needs time," he adds.

"You can see he's scoring now and he deserves that because he's a good player.

"Holding the ball and waiting for people is his strongest point.

"I played with him. I was with him every day training and you could see that he was too strong in Holland, it was too easy for him. He deserved to go to a better club.

"He is quiet, but he is a good person and you can see he wants to be successful.

"After training he will train a lot — he's a good professional — and I hope he will be successful."

Buttner could do without Bony having another good day this weekend, when Swansea go back to Old Trafford looking to pull off the unlikeliest of doubles.

Laudrup's men were deserved winners last Sunday, when Bony's late header rewarded Swansea's composed display.

The pressure will be on United to gain revenge in Saturday's rematch — and Buttner reckons David Moyes's team must take their chances this time around. "It's difficult when you play with ten men against Swansea and in the end we were disappointed," he says.

"We got back to 1-1 quickly, then we had a couple of chances and I think we had to score then. It was very disappointed to lose the game, but we have to focus on the next one now."

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