Monday, 29 June 2015

Does Distin complete the defensive picture for AFCB?

With Sylvain Distin poised to sign for the Cherries this week, is there still need for further additions in this section of the team? If Eddie Howe wants to play three at the back on occasion there could be need for more cover I suppose and there are no shortage of candidates.

AFCB are already expecting to go to FC Nantes to play a testing pre-season match in July, but have they more interest than that at the French club? Several reports have linked the Cherries with interest in Papy Djilobodji who is a centre back for the Ligue 1 club. As a Senegalise player Papy has won a couple of caps and if as believed, Sylvain Distin has all but signed for the Cherries it would perhaps be an attractive move for the Senagalise international to add to the French speakers at AFCB.

At 26, Papy is arguably in the prime of his career and with his success in Ligue 1 it is going to take a fair bit of negotiation to get him to part with FC Nantes. He has helped the club rise from Ligue 2 and will be very at home playing at the La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau stadium. Rated as a £5 million player, he is also being tracked by Southampton and I'd expect the Saints to be favourites to sign him.

Another possibility is Steven Caulker who has been strongly linked with a move from QPR to AFCB. With an asking fee that could top £8 million though it is not the cheap option. Whether the 23-year-old is considered splashing out for or not we will see in the coming weeks, but if he did sign for the Cherries it will put real pressure on Howe to play him ahead of one of AFCB's regular centre backs and it could mean the end to the club's most successful centre back partnership.
Elliott Ward could find his opportunities more
limited if more central defenders are signed. 
Caulker was part of QPR's relegated side from last season and that experience will not have been great for him and he also went through the same punishment with Cardiff City the season before. It is perhaps a recognition of how confident Eddie Howe is in Jason, Simon and his coaching abilities that they might be able to succeed more with Steven Caulker than the fallen Premier League sides have done.  

While the imminent signing of Sylvain Distin would seem adequate cover for the central back position, a younger rising star to also pressure Cook and Elphick would really put the centre back positions up for grabs. It might be particularly bad news for Elliott Ward who has missed a lot of football and will be desperate to show that he can still play in the Premier League, while Baily Cargill has already stated that he does not want a loan move away from AFCB.

The latest player who continues to be linked with AFCB is £5 million-rated Max Gradel of St Etienne, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

Premier Talk
Premier Talk highlights Swansea City and their accepted $5 million bid for Portuguese striker Eder and I ask what about Michu's future?

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