After guiding Bournemouth into the Premier League for the first time in their existence and, subsequently, establishing himself as a manager worthy of widespread media coverage, Eddie Howe this week was handed his Monday Night Football debut.
Bouncing off esteemed regulars Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville as though someone without a footballing education at one of the world’s most prestigious clubs could actually know a thing or two about the beautiful game, the Cherries chief stated he plans to bolster his squad for their maiden top-tier tilt with British players.
Whoa, you had us all fooled for a second there Eddie.
Everyone knows British players aren’t very good, that’s why the England team are rubbish.
Nevertheless, it’s nice for a manger to take a madcap approach every once in a while and judging by bwin.com’s price of 67/100 about Bournemouth staying up suggests their recruitment policy may be just be crazy enough to work.
But who are these British players Howe has been scoping out?
Set to be released from Manchester City and unlikely to be wanted by Fiorentina, who are currently borrowing him for the season, after barely being picked by La Viola, the Dorset club have the financial clout to pay Richards’ wages.
The England international was once regarded as one of the best defensive prospects around, but despite not playing regularly for the Citizens since 2011/12, his 179 career Premier League appearances mean he would be their most experienced practitioner by some margin.
A former favourite amongst Cherries after scoring in his opening ten consecutive league fixtures during a loan spell in 2001 (a feat that only historical goal monster Dixie Dean can best), Defoe would be a seasoned striking option if his current club Sunderland are relegated.
The Black Cats’ demotion will depend on the viability of the move, with the player recently inking a three-year contract on Wearside, but four goals in 14 games suggests he can still cut it at the highest level, especially when the laughable lack of creativity in Dick Advocaat’s team is taken into account.
Featuring only as a peripheral member of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans at Tottenham, the speedy winger with an eye for goal could prove the perfect foil for Matt Ritchie on the opposite flank.
Spurs are expected to invest themselves this summer, which promises outgoings and Townsend’s exploits when on loan at QPR in 2012/13 should be enough to convince he’s not a luxury player unfit for a survival scrap.