Thursday, 10 July 2014

Will AFCB sign World Cup winger Gradel?

The gossip columns are buzzing again around AFCB's love of wingers and this time they are suggesting that Eddie Howe will make a bid for former Cherry Max Gradel who played 34 times for AFCB in 2007/8 when on loan from Leicester City. Having played in the Ivory Coast team that did not make it out of the group stage in this year's World Cup you might think that this would be an ambitious signing for AFCB, but the Saint Etienne midfielder has less than a year left on his contract.

Having also had a period at Leeds Utd, there is no arguing that Gradel would be a quality addition to the Cherries. I would expect plenty of competition though for a player like Gradel and if he did come to Bournemouth it would be a signing that was even more significant than the capture of Callum Wilson in my view because Gradel is proven at this level and already an international player. Leeds, Leicester City, West Ham, Hull City and Liverpool have all been linked with the player as well in recent months.

Having already brought in Junior Stanislas I am in two minds as to the real need of yet another winger unless there is a probability of one of the current wingers at the club moving on. While there is always rumours of Matt Ritchie being a target he seems very settled on the south coast. The last I heard was that Watford were interested, but so has Gus Poyet at Sunderland for the last six months if you read all the endless transfer leads. McQuoid has said that he does not wish to leave the club and wants to fight for a place in the team, while Fraser and Pugh are still a good balance and value on the left. So why is Gradel being so strongly linked to AFCB?

While I would be more pleased to see an other central defender come to the club if reinforcements are still needed, it is not always possible to bring in the players you want at the right time. The chance of bringing in further quality in positions where you are already strong may still seem too good a bargain if they are at the right price and I suspect that Eddie Howe was chasing Stanislas and Gradel at the same time just hoping to land one of them. With the finances at his disposal now though he may just see an opportunity that he can't ignore. 

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