AFC Bournemouth: Howe says development is key after swooping for youngster Whitfield (From Bournemouth Echo)
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AFC Bournemouth: Howe says development is key after swooping for youngster Whitfield
Midfielder Ben Whitfield, 17, today became the latest addition from Conference North club Guiseley and joined 18-year-old defender Jonathan Muleba who yesterday signed from Chelsea.
Whitfield put pen to paper on an 18-month deal while Muleba, who was offered a contract extension at Stamford Bridge, signed for two-and-a-half years.
The double swoop follows hot on the heels of highly-rated striker Josh O’Hanlon’s move from League of Ireland outfit Longford Town.
But despite investing in a host of young guns during the transfer window, Howe was quick to state the club would continue to develop the talent on its doorstep.
Howe told the club website: “It’s important that if you’re going to have a development squad and believe in young players, you have to do it properly.
“The players who have come in aren’t here to take the place of our own young players but to enhance the group and raise the standard of training.
“Then the aim is that if we have injuries in the first team, we can call on the development squad players but we needed to make that group better in order to do that.”
On Whitfield’s deadline day capture, Howe added: “Ben is a young player with huge potential.
“He’s certainly a talent and someone we would like to work with and develop. He’s similar to Josh O’Hanlon and others here who in time could develop into very good players.”
Whitfield, who spent much of his youth career at Bradford City, said: “It has taken a while to get sorted but I am really happy to be a Bournemouth player.
“Eddie (Howe) was a big part of why I decided to come down here because of the way he coaches and his teams play.”
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