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(UPDATED) AFC Bournemouth: Record signing Rantie speaks - VIDEO
NEW recruit Tokelo Rantie is vowing to take in his stride the weight of expectation at becoming Cherries’ record signing.
Rantie today trained with Eddie Howe’s squad for the first time since finalising his big-money move from Swedish club Malmo almost three weeks ago.
The 23-year-old penned a four-year deal at Dean Court last month after Cherries had agreed a fee with Malmo, which was reported as “undisclosed”.
But the striker’s arrival in England had been delayed due to immigration issues, while Rantie had also been on international duty with South Africa.
Giving his first set of interviews to local media, Rantie told the Daily Echo: “I am very relieved because I should have been here quite some time ago. I am glad everything has been sorted and I can start.
“That is the most important thing for me because starting a new chapter in my career is totally different. I am happy to be here and am looking forward to everything I am going to achieve.”
Asked whether the fee would weigh heavily on his shoulders, Rantie replied: “I don’t think about it because the money doesn’t come to me. I have been given the chance to be here and, wherever the money goes, the clubs will take care of it.
“I don’t put myself under any pressure because I know my qualities. I know what I am capable of and I will show people that, even if the money that has been paid was too much, it didn’t go to waste.
“Pressure will always be there but it isn’t something I take into consideration because I won’t perform if I can’t take the pressure. I don’t think I will be in the right frame of mind going on to the field knowing I have pressure.”
Rantie, who lists Wayne Rooney as his footballing hero, could be in line to make his debut when Cherries host Championship rivals Barnsley tomorrow (7.45pm).
Asked why he chose Cherries ahead of other clubs and what supporters could expect of him, Rantie said: “I strongly believe Bournemouth was the right choice for me because I have been told that they are an ambitious club and have plans to get to the Premier League. I didn’t hesitate to come here.
“To be honest, I found Bournemouth a more ambitious club than the others who showed interest in me. Even if Malmo had agreed a deal with another team, I still would still have chosen Bournemouth.
“I am explosive and although I am not tall, I am physically strong. My pace is something which has worked for me during my career. I have scored a lot of spectacular goals, a lot of good goals I don’t think I will forget any time soon.
“I am very skillful and very good at one-on-ones. I just have to work more on my finishing because I believe a striker needs to do that even if he is perfect.”
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