Why Vedat Muriqi could add a different dimension to Bournemouth’s attack
The Kosovan international has been linked with moves to Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur and Man United but Bournemouth are seemingly ready to steal a march on their rivals by joining their pursuit of the towering centre-forward. (h/t Tuttomercatoweb)
As per the report, the Cherries have identified Vedat Muriqi as a replacement for in-demand striker Callum Wilson, who has been on the radar of some of the top Premier League clubs including Man United.
Born in Kosovo to parents of Albanian descent, Muriqi has battled a war-stricken childhood to emerge as one of Europe’s most improved centre-forwards in recent times and his excellent all-round game has drawn admiring glances from scouts of several top clubs.
The 25-year-old initially plied his trade with Liria in his homeland and subsequently featured for Albanian outfit Teuta Durres before earning a move to Turkish second-tier club Giresunspor, where he went on to register 23 goals in 69 games.
Although that was enough to pave the way for a move to the top-flight with Gençlerbirliği, Muriqi’s initial campaigns in the Super Lig were quite disappointing, with the Kosovan only managing meagre returns of 10 goals in 55 appearances.
However, a move back to the second-tier with Caykur Rizespor in January 2018 worked wonders for his career and after netting 8 times in 16 outings during the second half of the 2017-18 campaign, Muriqi racked up an impressive tally of 17 goals in the Super Lig last season, which eventually prompted heavyweights Fenerbahce to snap him up.
The 25-year-old hasn’t looked back since then and has gone from strength to strength over the past few months, stringing together some impressive displays for club and country.
Muriqi has already scored thrice in seven league appearances for Fenerbahce, whilst also finding the net in each of Kosovo’s last three Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic, England and Montenegro, including an incredible display against the Three Lions last month where he caught the eye with a goal and two sumptuous assists.
To put things into perspective, Bournemouth completing a move for Vedat Muriqi in January would definitely be a massive statement of intent and the Cherries should step up their pursuit of the 25-year-old regardless of what the future holds for Callum Wilson.
A powerful centre-forward like Muriqi could possibly add another dimension to a Bournemouth attack that is far too reliant on pace at the moment.
In Joshua King and Wilson, Eddie Howe has the perfect pairing up top to suit his counter-attacking style of play but Muriqi, who offers something different, both in terms of hold-up play and physicality, could be a massive boost to the manager’s squad dynamics.
Standing at 6ft 4in with a burly and powerful frame, the 25-year-old Kosovan is not only a giant in the air but he is someone who also contributes with a lot with his slick link-up play and ability to set up goals with wonderful through balls.
Besides being a physically dominant striker with exceptional aerial pedigree, Muriqi’s powerful shooting with both feet, coupled with his natural instincts to lose his marker and get into scoring positions, make him an excellent all-round centre-forward and one who apparently has all the raw materials to terrorise defenders in the Premier League.
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The Kosovan’s towering stature means that he is not as quick as King and Wilson but he could well be the one to inspire a more dynamic approach from Howe, who has been over-reliant on pace for quite a long time now.
With that in mind, Bournemouth going all out in their pursuit of Vedat Muriqi could potentially work wonders for their long-term future in the Premier League, as the Kosovan powerful looks destined for success in any top league in Europe.