BOSS Eddie Howe believes Callum Wilson’s best seasons could come in a Cherries shirt after today making the highly-rated Coventry striker his third summer signing.
Cherries beat off competition from Norwich City to recruit the 22-year-old front man on a four-year contract for an initial fee believed to be around the £2million mark.
It is understood that figure could rise significantly based on various player and team performance factors, including whether Cherries earn promotion to the top flight.
As part of the deal, the Echo understands that keeper Ryan Allsop and winger Mohamed Coulibaly will join the Sky Blues on loan until January.
There has this evening been speculation that a third Cherries player could make a loan switch to the West Midlands as part of the Wilson deal.
Howe was thrilled to convince Wilson to sign up at Dean Court after seeing off rival suitors Norwich, who had also held talks with the 22-goal striker.
The manager told Cherries’ official website: “It’s been a long pursuit of someone we rate very highly. We watched him a lot last year and he had an excellent season and scored a lot of goals despite having an injury.
“For him to hit the goal tally that he did and for him to perform in the manner that he did was impressive and we’re delighted to get him.
“When we lost Lewis Grabban in June we looked for someone of similar qualities because of how we played in the second half of the campaign.
“I think Callum is similar to Lewis but has different strengths. He’s his own man and his pace really stands out when you watch him play. His running style is similar to a sprinter’s and he’s a very good finisher.
“At the age of 22, Callum’s best seasons are ahead of him. We feel we can develop his game even further and develop it to another level. I think it speaks volumes for where the club is going and how we’re progressing that he chose us ahead of bigger clubs.”
The transfer fee is one of the biggest in Cherries’ history and is a clear statement of intent from a club that has already brought in ex-Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling and former Burnley wide man Junior Stanislas from Premier League sides this summer.
It is thought that the prospect of regular football tempted Wilson to choose Cherries above the Canaries, who have a raft of striking options at their disposal, including former Dean Court forward Grabban.
Wilson has only completed one full season as a first-team regular at Coventry but was the third- highest scorer in League One last term despite spending two months out with a shoulder injury.
He could be unveiled to local media on Monday, prior to the Cherries squad and management flying to Austria for a five-day training camp.