One of the reasons so many Bournemouth fans – and neutrals for that matter – love Eddie Howe is because he puts so much faith into young homegrown talent.
In fact, of the 21 outfield players he’s fielded this season, 16 have been from the UK or the Republic of Ireland, and 13 are aged 25 or under.
But if the latest whispers are anything to go by, Howe will buck that trend this summer by bringing in Premier League veteran – and former Cherries forward – Jermain Defoe.
Our traders have this afternoon made Bournemouth 5/2 favourites for his signature when the transfer window opens again.
The Sunderland and recently recalled England ace would be available on a free transfer were the Black Cats to be relegated this season. That’s looking likely with David Moyes’ men some seven points off safety.
And despite turning 34 five months ago, interest in Defoe is expected to be as high as it’s ever been in the summer. 58 per cent of the north-east outfit’s goals this season have been scored by him, while he also netted a further 15 strikes in his first full season at the Stadium of Light.
There’s clearly life in the old dog yet, and Howe is expected to make a move for Defoe when the transfer window opens so as to strengthen his chances of making Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 World Cup.
And in truth, he could be exactly the kind of player the Cherries need.
Bournemouth have struggled to find consistency for much of this season, and despite boasting an exciting bunch of midfielders, they’re lacking a genuine out-and-out goalscorer.
Joshua King has eased the burden (netting an impressive 11 goals in the top-flight), but the Norwegian tends to operate from out wide or just behind a main front-man.
Benik Afobe simply isn’t prolific enough, registering just eight Premier League goals in two seasons for the south-coast outfit, while Callum Wilson has been hit with his second ACL knee ligament injury in as many years.
With that in mind, it’s likely Howe will be in the market for a striker this summer – and as value for money goes, you don’t get much better than Defoe on a freebie.
Meanwhile, another former club, West Ham, will also be on the hunt for a forward, and 3/1 says he moves to east London.
What do fans think? Would signing Defoe be a step in the right direction for either club?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing