Tuesday 25 October 2016

Double deal delight for Bournemouth

Published 04/08/2015 | 13:42

Max Gradel, pictured playing for Leeds, has now returned to England to play for Bournemouth
Max Gradel, pictured playing for Leeds, has now returned to England to play for Bournemouth

Bournemouth have continued preparations for their maiden season in the Premier League by signing Lee Tomlin from Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee.

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Tomlin joined Max Gradel in signing for the Cherries on Tuesday, the forward penning a three-year contract to complete his rise through the ranks.

Gradel signed a four-year contract after switching from French club St Etienne for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old Tomlin was released by hometown club Leicester before impressing at non-League Rushden and Diamonds and then Peterborough.

He scored 10 goals for Boro last term and has been watched by Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe and his assistant Jason Tindall for some time.

"Lee is a player who we are excited about and will get fans off their seats," chief executive Neill Blake said on Bournemouth's official website.

"He is someone we have followed for some time and believe will fit seamlessly into Eddie and Jason's plans.

"The promotion race in the Championship last season was incredibly competitive and Lee was a key figure in a Middlesbrough side who went very close to going up.

"We believe he is ready to make the step up and look forward to seeing him play in the Premier League.

"Like the club, he has had to work hard to get to this point and is eager to make the most of this opportunity.

"We are very pleased with the business we have done this week, and on the whole this summer, and feel it is a marker of our ambitions this season."

Gradel believes the Cherries are unrecognisable now from the club he played for in 2007-08.

He was twice loaned to Bournemouth eight seasons ago, when they were deducted 10 points by the Football League for entering administration and were relegated to League Two.

The turnaround since then has been dramatic. They host Aston Villa at the Vitality Stadium in their first ever Premier League fixture on Saturday.

Gradel was the seventh signing of a busy summer - Tomlin the eighth - and there is optimism that Howe can establish them in Europe's most competitive division.

"It feels a little bit strange because everything has changed," the 27-year-old said.

"When I first arrived today I didn't recognise the club, but I am very happy to see it is all moving in a good direction.

"It's a good feeling. I am so happy. I had a great time here before so I'm very excited to be back.

"Not many people will understand why I came to Bournemouth. I had offers for more money and bigger clubs but in football you have to go where you will be happy."

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