Until now, Bournemouth have based their side on English talent, most of whom have worked their way up from the lower divisions to the Premier League.
Now, however, they have completed the loan signing of Roma’s Juan Iturbe. He is the first real big name to sign for Bournemouth, and he could be crucial in their survival bid.
In the summer, Bournemouth spent a combined £15 million on Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel. Both of them have been ruled out for an extended period with injuries. With no disrespect to the aforementioned pair, the signing of Iturbe will bring a lot more excitement to fans on the south coast.
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The move for the Argentinean is only a loan one until the end of the season, but he will be seen as a big part of Bournemouth’s battle for survival. If he does play a part in keeping them up, Eddie Howe may see fit to activate the clause in his loan contract that allows him to stay with the Cherries permanently, for a fee believed to be around £16 million.
Iturbe is a big name in Italian football, and his signing is a real coup for a club of Bournemouth’s stature. It was only in the summer of 2014 that Roma paid Chievo Verona around £17 million for his services after an impressive campaign in Serie A, during which he scored eight goals and provided four assists.
He has still played quite an important role for Roma this season. The 22-year-old appeared in every one of Roma’s six Champions League group stage matches, even if four of them were from the bench. This makes it even more baffling that there weren’t more teams vying for the player’s signature.
Having lost Max Gradel and then the impressive Callum Wilson, to injury towards the start of the season, Iturbe could become a big player for Bournemouth in the second half of the season. Joshua King has been doing a good job as the lone striker at the Vitality Stadium, but he will need support from others.
The striker could be just the player Bournemouth need. With Howe very keen for his side to turn defence into attack quickly and hit the opposition on the counter-attack, Iturbe’s pace fits the bill as the striker in this side. He also has the work rate that his new manager demands from his players.
If the 22-year-old can show his ability in the Premier League he will undoubtedly become a favourite with the fans. With the side in a position where they are neither in immediate danger, nor comfortably above the relegation zone, Iturbe could play a massive part in securing Bournemouth’s safety.