Cote D’Ivoire international Max Gradel has put pen to paper on a deal which sees him move to English Premier League new boys Bournemouth from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne.
The striker’s deal with the EPL club involved an undisclosed fee paid to his former French team, and the 27-year-old signed a four-year contract after passing a medical.
Bournemouth have been very busy in the transfer market during the last two months, with six other players joining the club ahead of Gradel’s capture. Another African player who joined the club recently was Ghanaian sensation Christian Atsu, who transferred from Everton.
Bournemouth coach Eddie Howe’s continues to prepare his team for their first ever campaign in the English Premier League, working hard to strengthen the side and add sufficient depth to take on some of the best teams in the world on a weekly basis.
This is not Gradel’s first experience at Bournemouth, as he was twice loaned to the club from Leicester City during the 2007-08 season. He then signed for Leeds in 2009, where he remained for two season before leaving England to join French club Saint-Etienne.
The speedy striker contributed 17 goals in 23 starts for Les Verts last season, helping them to secure a fifth-placed Ligue 1 finish. He was amongst a selection of ten African players who were nominated for the Marc Vivien Foe Award last season, which recognises the best player from Africa based on their performances in the French Ligue 1 over the campaign.
Gradel was a member of the Ivorian squad that emerged victorious from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), missing a number of Ligue 1 games as a result, before returning to his club and making sure his form continued to impress. He admitted that he would be leaving the side at the end of the season.
The Elephants striker will have the first opportunity to represent his new club in Premier League action this Saturday, when Bournemouth opens their campaign with an encounter against Aston Villa.
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