Cherries seek personality to go with ability

LONDON • Bournemouth are studying the social media history of their transfer targets as Eddie Howe seeks to add to his squad before the club's Premier League bow against Aston Villa on Aug 8.

Howe said that he felt the Cherries were still short of numbers in certain areas, but added that he would sign players only with the personality to go with their ability.

Club chairman Jeff Mostyn explained that means the club are looking at personal Twitter and Facebook pages to make sure they sign players who will fit into a tightknit group.

The attention to detail has involved looking at the fates of other promoted clubs and seeing where they may have gone wrong.

Howe said: "To welcome any player as part of this squad, I think they have to have special characteristics. We delve quite deep into what they are like as people."

He said the club have to provide reasons for signing players that go beyond bank balances. So far, he has signed six players, including Tyrone Mings, their £8 million (S$17 million) record signing from Ipswich Town, and Sylvain Distin, the 37-year-old defender, who joined after his release by Everton.

"We need to look at it from a different angle," he said. "Of course the finances are difficult for us. When you are competing against another club we will lose, so that's where the other factors become so important in trying to attract players here."

In terms of their cash-strapped past, which involved being minutes from liquidation seven years ago, Bournemouth have spent a fortune this summer. But it is peanuts by Premier League standards.

Backed by Maxim Demin, a Russian billionaire, the Cherries have not increased the 11,700 capacity of their stadium, but have built a two-storey training pavilion in a matter of weeks, complete with state-of-the-art gym and underwater treadmills, as well as installing undersoil heating.

"We certainly can't compete with Manchester City through financial routes," Howe said. "It's about the work ethic and players wanting to improve and we would like to think allied with our style of play that would be enough."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2015, with the headline 'Cherries seek personality to go with ability'. Print Edition | Subscribe