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The signing of Jermain Defoe gives AFC Bournemouth a wealth of striking options. There is hot shot Josh King, the forgotten man Callum Wilson, the struggling? striker Benik Afobe, the moaning Frenchman Lys Mousset. And the other one, Lewis Grabban
The big question is which of these six will still be at AFC Bournemouth come the beginning of 2017/18 season. We can immediately eliminate Jermain Defoe, it would take a monumental backtrack for him not to be wearing an AFC Bournemouth shirt come August 12th 2017. And, it’s not going to happen, he is here to stay.
To kick-off any sort of ‘Will he stay’ or ‘Will he go’ shenanigans, depends very much on who goes, if anyone. Rumours around Josh King are not going away, but there seems to be little happening in recent days. Plus, he is flexible enough to play on the wing as well down the middle. But, what happens if he does go? Will Howe look to replace (or has he already done that with Defoe). Or will he stick with the remaining options available to him.
In reality the first choice strikers are King and Defoe. The rest are backup to these two. Benik Afobe is being the man touted to go but he has said he has no intention of going anywhere and his record in the second half of last season wasn’t breathtaking but it wasn’t shoddy either. In 21 games he made 14 starts and scored 6 goals. Remember King only scored 3 in the first half of the season.
CALLUM WILSON v BENIK AFOBE: AFOBE WINS
Before the descenters start pointing out his missed chances and sh*t penalty against West Ham (remember Josh King missed in that game as well), lets look at the other strikers we have yet to mention. Callum Wilson was the golden boy before he got injured, he was scoring goals for fun. But, to us he has never been the same since his injury. He came back and got to play every week to improve his performance. But, if you look at his record its very similar to Afobe. In the 20 league games he played in 2016/17 he had 16 starts and scored 6 goals. But, three of those goals were from the penalty spot. Hardly a much better record than Afobe, in fact, probably a worse record than Afobe. And with another knee injury how is he going to recover? We seriously hope he comes back as strong as he was in the Championship-winning season, but we are not sure. Perhaps if anyone should go it should be Wilson?
Let’s not forget beyond these strikers we are left with Mousset, a work in progress, and Lewis Grabban, a striker who struggles for a regular spot in a Championship squad. He should definitely go, his race has been run. Sell him now while we might get a few quid for him.
We are not saying that Afobe shouldn’t go, but looking at the facts, and what we have seen on the pitch, he may not be the obvious choice to depart. He is a great backup and is still only 24, plenty of time to improve.