Eddie Howe admits he feels uncomfortable spending big on his Bournemouth squad, but insists he will always try and use any cash wisely.
Howe was the manager when the Cherries were on the brink of extinction in 2008, and aside from a brief spell in charge of Burnley, he has been key in their fairytale rise up the ladder which culminated in promotion to the Premier League last season. And despite a 3-1 home loss to West Ham United on Tuesday, they have acquitted themselves admirably in the top-flight.
With victories over Chelsea and Manchester United to show for their efforts, the South Coast club are currently two places and three points above the relegation zone. Staying amongst the elite is the height of their ambitions this season, and Howe has been backed in the transfer market both last summer and this month to ensure he has a capable squad.
A record fee of £8million was spent on Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings ahead of the campaign, and this has now been surpassed with the capture of Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe for a reported £11million, whilst Lewis Grabban has rejoined the club from Norwich City for £7million. And Howe admits such a spending spree makes his uncomfortable.
“It is not a comfortable feeling for me as I have been right through the journey,” he said. “I take every penny we spend very seriously as well as the responsibility which comes with that, and try to make good decisions for the football club, not just for now, but for the long term. It is important that we look beyond this season as it is not just about the here and now.”
Juan Iturbe has also joined Bournemouth from Roma on loan until the end of the season, and there will likely be more additions before the window shuts. Howe could again raid Carrow Road, this time for goalkeeper John Ruddy, and the long-term injury to Mings could see him look for defensive reinforcements, with Michael Dawson of Hull City said to be a target.