When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
AFC Bournemouth: Tokelo Rantie will need good service says Marc Pugh
MARC Pugh wants to see big gun Tokelo Rantie fire Cherries to Championship success – but insists the club’s playmakers must first provide the ammunition.
Winger Pugh, whose wife Laura gave birth to their second child Grace yesterday, admits there are great expectations of Cherries’ record signing following the striker’s high-profile move from Swedish club Malmo last month.
Rantie put pen to paper on a four-year contract at Dean Court after Cherries were understood to have shattered the club’s previous highest transfer fee of £800,000.
The South African star, 23, could make his eagerly-awaited debut for Cherries when Eddie Howe’s men host leaders Blackpool today (3pm).
And Pugh is hoping to make the international frontman feel welcome – by providing him with plenty of opportunities to show his goalscoring qualities.
The Lancastrian told the Daily Echo: “Strikers are only as good as the service they get. We will be expected to put balls on a plate for him and, hopefully, he can tuck them away.”
Rantie opted to join Cherries after rumoured interest from other bidders including Scottish giants Celtic and Championship rivals Middlesbrough.
Pugh continued: “There is a lot expected of him and it is great for the football club to get a name like that who has attracted attention. He was a valued member of Malmo’s squad because whatever we paid for him – I am not quite sure what the actual figure was – was big money for the football club. Hopefully, he can come in and deliver.”
Pugh and fellow winger Ryan Fraser will be two of the players keen to create for the likes of Rantie, Brett Pitman and Lewis Grabban. And Pugh, 26, admits he has been impressed by Fraser’s flying start to the season.
Pugh added: “He is a top lad and I have got a lot of time for Ryan. He has got pace, good ability and the potential to do really well and to play at a really high level.
“He is a down-to-earth lad as well and he always works hard on the training ground, so it is nice to see him doing well and performing to the best of his ability. I am sure there is a lot more to come from him as well.”
Manager Howe confirmed on Thursday that Rantie had been granted a UK visa and that Cherries were hoping to fly their new recruit into England in time to possibly line up against Blackpool. Rantie had been in South Africa during the international break after featuring in his country’s 4-1 win over Botswana in a World Cup qualifier seven days ago.
Comments are closed on this article.