Monday 26 September 2016

Bilic ready for new Cherry

Andy Sims

Published 12/01/2016 | 02:30

Slavan Bilic: 'Bournemouth had a lot of injuries and have done well to maintain good results without those players, but they have probably been waiting for this transfer window' Photo: PA
Slavan Bilic: 'Bournemouth had a lot of injuries and have done well to maintain good results without those players, but they have probably been waiting for this transfer window' Photo: PA

Slaven Bilic does not need to swot up on Bournemouth new boy Benik Afobe, as he was expecting to face him three days earlier.

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Striker Afobe was due to be in the Wolves squad which travelled to Upton Park in the FA Cup on Saturday, only to be withdrawn as transfer talks with Bournemouth progressed.

The former Arsenal youngster tied up the big-money switch on Sunday and is now poised to make his Bournemouth debut tonight - against Bilic's Hammers with a game against former club Arsenal coming next month.

"We were expecting him to play on Saturday, so I have already watched him in a few games," said the West Ham manager.

"He's a very good player. They have also signed Juan Iturbe from Roma, who is a great winger. Bournemouth had a lot of injuries and have done well to maintain good results without those players, but they have probably been waiting for this transfer window."

Bournemouth's manager, Eddie Howe, is excited by the potential of Afobe, but is determined not to place any pressure on the young striker.

Afobe, 22, has been a regular goalscorer in the lower leagues, including a prolific stint with MK Dons last season, and Howe believes he has ability to do well in the top flight as well.

"You just look at him and know he is going to be a handful, but he may need a little bit of time to settle, so we are not placing huge expectation on his shoulders."

Bournemouth yesterday re-signed striker Lewis Grabban from Norwich for around £7m on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Independent News Service

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