ANDONI Iraola insists he is “happy” with how his squad looks at the end of the winter transfer window.

At the start of January, Iraola said he wanted Cherries to end the market with a stronger squad than they entered it.

He also stated the club were not looking for new signings, unless players departed.

With the window now closed, Cherries have fewer senior players than they began with. David Brooks, Joe Rothwell, Kieffer Moore, Emiliano Marcondes, Gavin Kilkenny and Hamed Traore all departed on loan.

The only new player signed was Enes Unal, while Romain Faivre and James Hill returned to the club after loan spells away.

Asked how he would reflect on the transfer window as a whole for Cherries, Iraola said: “I think in the winter market, mostly teams want to refresh a little bit.

“Especially to help and listen to the players that demand more minutes and want to try somewhere else. And then to find the appropriate replacements, so the level of the team doesn’t go lower.

“I think we’ve done it. I am happy. I was happy with the squad I had before and I am also happy with the one I will have until the end of the season.”

He added: “I think the start of the movements for the departures were because the players that have left wanted to play more minutes and find another place where they could start more games.

“We have tried to replace them in the best way, by recalling Hilly and Romain and now with the signing of Enes.”

It was a unique ending to the window for Cherries and Iraola, who had a Premier League match at West Ham United during the closing stages of deadline day.

Moore and Kilkenny travelled with the squad to London, but ended the night out on loan with other clubs, while Unal was signed.

In August, the transfer window closed the night before Cherries played at Brentford, with Jaidon Anthony leaving the team hotel to sign for Leeds United on loan, as Luis Sinisterra came the other way.

“I hate the last weeks of the market,” admitted Iraola.

“Both times have been during the game or before the game, you travel with players who have to leave the hotel.

“It’s something very strange. It is difficult.

“But I think everyone, the players and staff, have done it quite well.”

The signing of Unal offers intrigue to supporters, to see how well he can adapt to life in the Premier League.

Recently returned from a knee injury, the 26-year-old leaves Getafe having netted 36 times in 109 appearances.

Capped 32 times by Turkey, the striker also previously had a spell in England, in the youth ranks at Manchester City after signing for them in 2015.

Unal also had a good record in the Dutch top flight, with Twente and NAC Breda, bagging 18 goals in 32 Eredivisie appearances.

Asked if signing him is a risk, given his anterior cruciate ligament injury in May 2023, Iraola said: “Every time you sign a player, there is a risk.

“But I think he is a proven player. He has shown it.

“He has a lot of experience for his age.

“He has scored the goals. It is true he is coming from an ACL, but probably if he is not coming from this position, the signing is much more expensive.

“But the recovery has been really good.

“He has been playing in a very short period of time (since surgery).

“Everyone we have talked to about the player says he is really disciplined and that the rehab has been really smooth.

“He does not come injured. If he flew here now, he would be ready to play on Sunday.”