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Eddie Howe has been asked some tough questions lately about the future of his strikers, particularly in reference to certain Midlands clubs, and rightly so.
Former Wolves man Benik Afobe has been linked with both his former club and Aston Villa while Lewis Grabban, doing so well on loan at Sunderland, is a subject of strong interest from both the clubs as well.
Bearing in mind that Bournemouth have been dominating large parts of their games against supposedly better opposition without much success in front of goal, could one argue that they should be keeping such strikers rather than farming them out?
A case can be made for sure, however, it seems likely now that both players will leave the club in January on permanent moves with Afobe linked with Aston Villa due to Steve Bruce’s need for another striker to help his club’s promotion tilt.
In terms of numbers, Villa have plenty of forwards on their books but Bruce seems to realise that he has more quantity than quality at present and that won’t get them promoted. Keinan Davis has 2 in 18 games and is only a young player, so is Callum O’Hare. There have been fitness and form worries over Jonathan Kodjia, Scott Hogan and Gabby Agbonlahor.
Villa really need something else and Afobe could just be the man in the short to medium term given his record in this division.
Afobe played for Wolves between 2014 and 2016, scoring 23 times before being sold to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth during the January transfer window. But, with Joshua King improving all the time, Callum Wilson returning full-time from injury and now Jermain Defoe having arrived at Dean Cort from Sunderland, it would appear that there is no place for him.
Interest from Wolves and West Brom in the summer and now from Villa, might suggest Afobe is unsettled and desperate to return to the Midlands, meaning we could expect quite an improvement in his play if he lands at Villa, as mentality is half the battle.
Spending a reasonable fee on someone with proven goal scoring ability at this level can end up looking like a bargain. Just about every team promoted automatically in the past have shown that a player of this type is necessary. Boro splashed out the money for Britt Assombalonga in the summer, a player not wanted as yet by Premier League clubs. So you can make a fair comparison there.