Speculation on the future of Max Gradel has seen him linked with Watford, but Howe has yet to decide on his future. We run the rule over his second spell at the club and reckon it’s time for him to leave.
The return of Max Gradel back in 2015 was welcomed with open arms. He was a marquee signing with an impressive record at the highest level in France’s Ligue 1. He scored 17 goals in 37 appearances for St-Etienne in 2014/15 and was part of the Ivory Coast team that won the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
Cherries fans remembered him fondly from his loan spell back in 2007/2008. He was a shining star who was ready to take on the cause and gave the Cherries an extra sense of style and performance. When he returned after the death of his mother, he was welcomed back like a returning hero, at least in our eyes. He left for pastures new and better times eventually signing for St Etienne in 2011.
Returning to his spirtual home in 2015 he was weclomed with excitement and expectation. We got to see glimpses of just how good he could/would be against West Ham in a thrilling 4-3 win, but in the very next game he was taken from Bournemouth with a long-time injury. Six months later he was back and scored the opener in the 3-2 victory over Swansea that effectively sealed another season in the Premier League.
IS GRADEL THE NEW TOKELO RANTIE?
After his injury Gradel played ten games in the 2015/16 season, but never shone or sparkled, like he had before. To us he seemed to be unhappy with his lot, he seemed to be playing where he wanted and not where Eddie was telling him. He looked like a frustrated figure and was eventaully dropped from the team and eventually the matchday squad.
His return in the Premier League has been 19 appearances and 1 goal. He has made 11 starts and 8 subs appearances. All five of his games in the Premier League this season have been from the bench. Not a great return for such a talented player. The question is should we send him out on loan or cut our losses and sell now. Only Eddie really knows what’s going on and he’s not picking him.
We would love him to stay and be the player he once was, but we don’t want him to stay and become the new Rantie. We think it’s time for him to go.