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AFC Bournemouth: Andrew Surman hails Cherries' ability to attract big names after Tokelo Rantie deal
CHERRIES’ successful swoop for sought-after South African striker Tokelo Rantie came as no surprise to Johannesburg-born loan star Andrew Surman.
Surman, who joined Cherries on a season-long loan from Norwich City in July, hailed the arrival of the international frontman and lauded the Dean Court outfit for their ability to attract big names.
Rantie agreed a four-year deal with Cherries after signing for an undisclosed fee – believed to be a club record – from Swedish club Malmo on Wednesday, subject to international clearance and a work permit.
The 22-year-old frontrunner, who was understood to have been a target for Scottish giants Celtic and Championship rivals Middlesbrough, has scored three goals in 12 appearances for Bafana Bafana.
And while some Cherries supporters may have been taken aback by the high-profile capture, Surman was not shocked by the move.
“I can see why it is an attractive club,” Surman told the Daily Echo. “Bournemouth have a good structure and a lot of money behind them, as well as some really good players and a manager everyone believes in.
“I am not surprised he chose to come here and it is great for the club to attract players like him. Hopefully, he can hit the ground running and put away some of the chances we have been creat ing.” Surman, who was raised in South Africa until he was eight years old and was approached about the prospect of playing for Bafana Bafana last year, said he would do all he could to make Rantie feel at home.
Surman said: “My mum and dad still live out there for six months of the year but I have not been back since.
“I know a bit about the culture there and I will have a bit of a chat with him. I’m sure he will settle in very quickly. I have managed to and that is because there is a good group of lads here.
“There is a good team spirit and that is important for anyone trying to settle in at a new club. I’m sure he will have no problems.”
Meanwhile, Surman said he was enjoying life back at Dean Court – eight years after his first loan spell as a teenager – and felt like he was getting back to his best form following a long-term knee injury.
Surman, who could feature in the Championship clash at Doncaster today (3pm), added: “I hadn’t played much before the move but I am getting closer to where I want to be.
“The most important thing is that the team is playing well and I am sure our luck will turn.
“After not playing for so long, then having the summer break, it was difficult to get back in the swing of things. You need games to do that and I am happy I have got some under my belt.
“I knew I would be leaving Norwich or going out on loan and when Eddie Howe showed an interest, I felt very positive about the move. Having been here before and with my family living down south, it was the obvious choice and I am enjoying my football with the quality we have.”
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