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JUANJO IN ON TRIAL
EDDIE Howe is set to offer the Spanish wizard a chance to conjure up his magic and cast a spell on Cherries’ relegation rivals.
Howe has handed a trial to former Barcelona, Hearts and Bradford City winger Juan José Carricondo Perez – who is known as Juanjo.
The 31-year-old could line up in Cherries’ Combination clash against Forest Green Rovers at Dean Court today, subject to international clearance.
Juanjo has been recommended to Howe by his former Cherries team-mate Claus Jorgensen who played alongside the Spaniard at Bradford.
A huge fans’ favourite during his time in Scotland with Hearts, Juanjo started his career on the books of Spanish giants Barcelona.
He followed Hearts boss Jim Jefferies to Bradford before returning to Scotland with Inverness Caledonian Thistle after a brief spell in Spain with Real Jaén.
A popular figure with the Caley faithful, Juanjo became known as the Spanish wizard due to his mesmerising displays on the wing.
However, an Achilles injury checked his progress before Juanjo fell out of favour with new Caley boss Craig Brewster and joined Hamilton on loan.
He then had a spell in Spain with Granada but is now keen on returning to Britain after failing to win a new contract with Inverness at the start of the season.
Howe told the Daily Echo last night: “Juanjo came to our attention from Claus Jorgensen. He played with him at Bradford so Claus got in contact and said he was worth having a look at.
“He flew over from Spain yesterday and will hopefully play in the reserve game. Depending on how the game goes will depend on how long he’s here.
“He trained with us today but conditions were terrible so it was difficult to make an assessment. We’re looking forward to seeing him in the reserve game.
“He’s a wide player who can also play up front.
“We’re looking to strengthen in areas and competition for places is important.
“You have to take his fitness into account but we’re looking for signs of ability and flashes of something and we may take it further if he shows something in the game.”
Howe will this week continue his search for new recruits after his efforts were thwarted by the recent cold snap.
He was due to watch Chelsea host Fulham in the Premier Reserve League last night and will embark on another scouting mission tonight.
Howe is also spending tomorrow at Tottenham – at the invitation of former Cherries boss Kevin Bond – and will watch Spurs’ reserves and youth team in action.
“If someone comes to my attention who I think will improve us, I will try to act on it,” said Howe.
Crystal Palace defender Rhoys Wiggins and Southampton winger Jake Thomson are due to sign their respective one-month loan deals tomorrow.
Their agreements were put on hold due to the postponement of Cherries’ League Two clash with Bradford on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Howe is confident goalkeeper Shwan Jalal will shake off a leg injury in time to face Rotherham.
Howe said last night: “His hip and calf are a bit sore so he won’t train tomorrow but he should be fine to train later this week.”