(Reuters) – Five close season signings have left Bournemouth fans brimming with optimism ahead of the new Premier League season but the new recruits must not be judged until January, manager Eddie Howe said on Friday.
Bournemouth, who finished 14th last season, signed defenders Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey, midfielder Philip Billing and winger Arnaut Danjuma on permanent deals while winger Harry Wilson was signed on a season-long loan from Liverpool.
“Let’s wait and see, let’s reserve judgement. I’m always a little bit worried when people say ‘what a great window’ just after it’s closed,” Howe told reporters ahead of Saturday’s opener at home against promoted Sheffield United.
“I’d prefer people to say the same in January, or next season. It doesn’t mean anything as we sit here now, it’s got to be proved in the games we have to come throughout the season.
“The players that we’ve signed, we hope (they) do really well for us. The players we let go, we wish them all the best in their future careers. I’m certainly looking forward to working with the new players and really getting to know them better.”
However, Howe admitted he was excited by the prospect of Liverpool loanee Wilson, who scored 32 goals in Premier League 2 for Liverpool and could make his top-flight debut with the south coast club.
“What impressed me about him was probably getting the supporters salivating. His shooting ability,” Howe added. “He is a very clever player, very good technically.
“He makes things happen. He has got end product to his game and had a very good season last year on loan at Derby. We are very excited by him.”
Howe said he expected a “difficult game” against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield side that finished second in the Championship behind Norwich City last season to gain automatic promotion.
“They impressed everybody last year,” Howe said. “I watched quite a bit of them from afar and their tactical set-up was slightly different. I really enjoyed watching that.
“They stuck to their blue-print of how they wanted to play and it brought them huge rewards. Chris, I think, has done an outstanding job.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)