Bony in contention for league start, says Clement

20th September 2017
First team

Paul Clement revealed Wilfried Bony is in contention to make his first Premier League start since rejoining Swansea City in Saturday’s home game with Watford.

The Ivory Coast international played for 81 minutes of Tuesday night’s 2-0 Carabao Cup victory at Reading, with Bony included in Clement’s starting XI for the first time since his transfer deadline day move from Manchester City.

After two substitute appearances in the league – and a 60-minute run out for the club’s under-23s side –Bony topped up his match fitness by featuring for the large part of Tuesday’s cup triumph.

And Clement feels the 28-year-old has put himself in the frame for a starting role this weekend.

“He did well to last as long as he did. I was surprised,” said Clement. “His fitness is good and he will be in contention for this weekend.”

Bony was one of seven changes made by the Swans boss for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.

And aside from a very pleasing result, Clement was encouraged by the performances of those who were handed a chance to impress.

“The players who came in did well. That’s what we want,” he said. “We have got a good squad here with good competition, especially in central midfield.

“Some players are still getting up to speed with the intensity of the game. You could see some players are not quite there physically, but it was a good run-out for some players who have not had many minutes recently.”

Spaniard Roque Mesa was among those to have been given an opportunity to get some game-time under his belt, and Clement was impressed with what he saw of the summer signing from Las Palmas.

“It’s 90 minutes for him,” he added. “He hasn’t played since United but he did well. He used the ball well and showed his quality.”