Bournemouth Opinion: Why the Cherries should re-sign Max Gradel?
Ivory Coast international Max Gradel completed a permanent move from Bournemouth to Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse last summer. He was impressive during his season-long loan spell in the French top-flight last term, as he contributed with 11 goals in 35 appearances.
Gradel, 31, has been fantastic for Toulouse this term so far, scoring nine goals and supplying four assists in 24 Ligue 1 games. The Ivorian has been a crucial player for Alain Casanova’s Toulouse, and with Gradel hitting his best form, should Bournemouth re-sign him in summer?
Bournemouth have been exciting to watch once again under Eddie Howe, despite the team losing a bit of momentum lately. The Cherries play an expansive and attractive brand of football, with full-backs bombing up and down the pitch the entire 90 minutes. That style of play has also backfired at times but Howe seldom changes his team’s style of play.
Now sitting 11th on the table and just six points adrift of seventh-placed Wolves, Bournemouth will need to bring in some quality players in the summer to rub shoulders with the big boys. To put things into perspective, Howe should reinforce his backline and also focus on strengthening his options in midfield when the transfer window re-opens.
The Cherries already have a thrilling attacking unit, with the likes of Callum Wilson, Josh King, David Brooks, Jordan Ibe, Ryan Fraser and Junior Stanislas capable of destroying the opposition on their day. Despite the attacking riches, they should try bringing back Max Gradel at the Vitality in the summer.
Gradel’s time at Bournemouth was ruined by a cruciate ligament injury that saw him manage just 27 Premier League appearances across two seasons. Now tormenting defences in Ligue 1 and playing with a different swagger, the Ivorian could be a smashing signing for the Cherries.
He operates with a lot of pace, flair and power, while his unpredictable movement in the final third would make him a real asset to have in the squad. The skilful Ivorian is too hot to handle on his day and his raw pace will also give Howe a fantastic option to have from the bench against tired legs.
Gradel is finally showing his true colours, but far away from Bournemouth. He has always been a talented attacker but injuries coupled with a lack of consistency just didn’t help him realize his true potential in the Premier League.
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Now playing at the top of his game in France, Howe must bring back Gradel to the Vitality in the 2019 summer transfer window.