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AFC Bournemouth: Difficult to find better strikers says Eddie Howe
The Cherries manager has been heavily linked with a host of potential attacking recruits since voicing his desire to bring in additional firepower this summer.
Cherries failed with a bid for Burnley’s Danny Ings in June and were believed to have this month tabled unsuccessful offers for Tokelo Rantie and Terrence Boyd.
While chairman Eddie Mitchell has said that funds will be available to strengthen the squad, Cherries are understood to have cast their net abroad due to some of the exorbitant wages being asked by players in England.
Against the backdrop of that transfer talk, members of Howe’s existing frontline have served a timely reminder of their qualities by making an impressive start to life in the Championship.
Lewis Grabban has netted all four of the club’s league goals this term, Wes Thomas has solidifed his place in the squad and promotion hero Brett Pitman provided a further boost when he made a winning return to the starting line-up on Saturday after returning to fitness following a hamstring problem.
And Howe, who is working within the constraints of new financial fair play rules, says it will be no easy task to unearth a player capable of enhancing his options.
Discussing his forwards, Howe told the Daily Echo: “They are very good players and we have certainly never underestimated our strikers.
“It is easy to bring in players but if you think you are going to improve your squad, they have got to be better than the ones you already have.
“To find players better than the ones we have is extremely difficult and will cost you a lot of money.
“We have certainly never underestimated the three established strikers we have here and, hopefully, they continue to excel because they are all good players individually.”
Howe was delighted with the Grabban-Pitman combination after reuniting the duo in the 1-0 win over Wigan at Dean Court.
“I thought they did very well,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a difficult game and I thought bringing in Brett, tactically, was the right call.
“Wigan had three in central midfield and Brett likes to play a bit deeper than, say, Wes and Grabbs, so it was a tactical call.
“I thought they performed very well against that challenge. Wigan have top defenders and they still looked a threat.
“Even when Wigan had 11 players, I still felt we had the biggest goal threat in the game.”
On Pitman’s role in behind frontrunner Grabban, Howe added: “Brett played that role for us the minute he joined last season.
“Nothing will change and I think that is Brett’s game. That is how he likes to play and we certainly encourage it and work with him on it.
“I think it suits Grabbs as well. They are both developing as players and are both still very young and they both can get better.”
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