The former Manchester City frontman is a free agent and hasn’t played a competitive game since July

Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony has disclosed how a wrong career decision to play in Qatar is partly responsible for his inability to find a new club.

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner moved to Al Arabi Sports Club on loan from Swansea City in January last year, as he felt it was the best opportunity to make the Elephants’ Afcon squad.

Admittedly, the frontman was included in Ibrahim Kamara’s 23-man squad for the showpiece in Egypt, but it’s come at a great cost, with the former Manchester City striker unable to the get a new club since his release by Swansea in the summer.

“I thought the best way for me to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations was to move, so, in a way, moving was good for me but in another way, it was not great because I think if I’d stayed at Swansea, I’d have a club now, because people would have seen me,” the 31-year-old told The Athletic.

“It can happen. I came back from injury and played for Swansea — seven games — then after, I went to Qatar. I went there because, even though I knew the [standard] was low, I wanted to play regularly, to take the injury out of my mind. I was not doing that at Swansea.”

Be that as it may, the former Vitesse attacker is optimistic he’ll find a club very soon, regardless of what is being said about him behind his back.

“It’s painful (not having a club). It’s something that you love and then you are not able to play,” he confessed.

“People are thinking: ‘Is he fit or not? He went to Qatar to play, blah blah blah.’ You know you are in a bad period when people start to talk like that but this is part of football and our life. I’m really confident in myself. I will stay calm and I know I will get something in the next two weeks.”

Furthermore, Bony opened up about his disappointing time in Manchester, having made a big-money move from Swansea in January 2015, before injuries and illness slowed him down.

“I came back after winning the Cup [Afcon 2015] and my body was kaput — that didn’t help me,” Bony says.

“I tried hard but I was not good. I kept getting injuries — hamstrings, calf — because I was tired. That season [2015/16] was very difficult.

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“The next season, I still couldn’t prepare myself because I got malaria. The team had to go away (to Australia and Vietnam during pre-season) but I had to stay in the UK because I was sick.

“City was a good place but it was the wrong time. It was very difficult. I wanted to do good, I wanted to do more but my body was tired, not able to provide what I would expect. I’d played two or three years without a rest.”

The unattached Bony recently underwent a trial with Ligue 2 side Le Havre in December but was unable to secure a permanent contract with Paul Le Guen’s side.

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