According to Sky Sports, Premier League new boys Bournemouth are making an ambitious loan bid for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy.
The forward is currently on-loan at French Ligue One outfit Monaco.
However, he has struggled in the principality. He has started just seven games for Monaco and failed to find the net in the French top-flight.
The forward could now be available for a temporary move elsewhere.
A wonderkid no more
When Stephen El Shaarawy broke into the AC Milan team as a teenager he was tagged as a future world star. The youngster was linked with big money moves to the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea.
However, injuries have hampered the 23-year-olds development and he has not been able to get back to the form he was producing prior to his injury problems. The move to Monaco was designed to resurrect his career, but things really have not worked out well for the Pharaoh.
Maybe a move to the Premier League would be the one to help resurrect his flagging career. The Cherries face a fight to sign El Shaarawy though, as the likes of Genoa, Fiorentina and Bologna are all being linked with a move for the 17-cap Italian international.
El Shaarawy definitely needs some luck and the right nurturing or he could become another high-profile wonderkid whose career has gone off the rails.
The Cherries looking to pick-up foreign stars
Bournemouth has come an awful long way in the past few years. The loan signing of highly-rated Argentinian playmaker Juan Iturbe from Roma was certainly an eye-catching one. The youngster only moved to Roma in the summer of 2014 in a big money move from Verona.
The 22-year-old has failed to find his best form in the eternal city and will be hoping a move to the English top-flight will help him rediscover his top form.
The signing of Iturbe illustrated the Cherries position at the moment. To sign such a promising player on-loan, albeit an out-of-form one, is very impressive. Boss Eddie Howe has described the loan signing of Iturbe as ‘exciting’ and these are exciting times for Cherries fans.
The club showed tremendous ambition in the summer with the number of players they brought in to strengthen the squad. Unfortunately they lost big money signings Tyrone Mings and Max Gradel through long-term injuries very early in the season.
However, the clubs hierarchy deserve great credit for the way they have continued to show such ambition in their recruitment policy in January. Chasing players of the calibre of Iturbe and El Shaarawy show that they mean business.
They are also clever deals, as loan deals offer the chance for the club to assess the players, prior to splashing out big money on players who may not prove to be a success.
A fighting chance to survive
I must sound like Bournemouth’s PR agent, because for the last 18 months I have been singing the praises of the Cherries and how boss Eddie Howe goes about his business. There is much to admire about the club though.
Their rise is like a fairy-tale story that has been told time and time again. The Dorset club have gone from the brink of going out of business to the Premier League.
They are one of the smallest clubs to ever appear in the Premier League, but have at no point looked out of their depth thanks to the managerial skills of Howe. The relatively young boss does have a knack of getting the best out of his players, some of whom had been languishing in the lower leagues.
Bournemouth has continued to play the passing football that brought them success in the Championship, but have struggled to score goals in the absence of top scorer Callum Wilson.
Howe is obviously attempting to put the lack of goals right by their interest in the likes of Iturbe and El Shaarawy. The Cherries are currently odds of 11/2 to be relegated this season and I certainly will not be backing Howe’s team for the drop this season.
Bournemouth came into the Premier League as an underdog, but from the ambition they have shown they deserve to be a top-flight club next season.
Would Stephan El Shaarawy be a good signing for Bournemouth?