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First team

Howe will 'reserve judgement' on transfer window activity

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Manager Eddie Howe said he would “reserve judgement” on the perceived success of AFC Bournemouth’s dealings in the summer transfer window.

Howe bolstered his first-team squad with four permanent signings – Lloyd Kelly, Jack Stacey, Philip Billing and Arnaut Danjuma – together with the loan addition of Liverpool’s Harry Wilson.

Tyrone Mings, Lys Mousset and Connor Mahoney were sold, Marc Pugh left to join QPR, while loans were sanctioned for Harry Arter, Sam Surridge, Emerson Hyndman and Brad Smith.

And while the majority of supporters have lauded the club for its business, boss Howe said he would prefer to appraise it further down the line.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Sheffield United, Howe said: “I’m always a little worried when people say what a great window just after it has closed. I’d prefer they say it in January or next season.

“As we sit here now, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s going to be proved in the games we have to come throughout the season.

“We hope the players we have signed do really well for us and we wish the players we have let go all the best in their future careers. But let’s wait and see, let’s reserve judgement.”

Asked whether he had got everything he had wanted, Howe replied: “As a manager, I don’t think you ever totally get what you want.

“I think there are always things that maybe escaped us or got away from us. But, in the main, we were well backed and well supported.

“It’s a real team effort here so congratulations to everybody on the effort they gave to try to get together the best squad we could.

“But, as I say, time will tell on that. We’re certainly looking forward to working with the new players and really getting to know them and to try to have a successful period with them.”

The Cherries will open their fifth campaign in the Premier League with a lengthy injury list with Kelly, David Brooks and Dan Gosling joining Simon Francis, Lewis Cook and Junior Stanislas on the sidelines.

And while Howe believes his squad will be the “best” he has ever managed once all his players are fit, he again stressed results would be the determining factor.

He added: “The team will dictate how well we do so we could focus on one area – you’d probably say our defensive record – but that’s going to be down to the team, it’s not going to be down to any individual.

“To get everything right, you need the team to function in both ways. We will continue to develop our style of play and our way of playing to try to make it better.

“Once we get everyone fit, I think the squad will be very strong. That is obviously an aim that we’re desperately trying to achieve. Once we do, it’ll be the best squad that I’ve ever had the privilege to manage here but, as always, the proof is in the results.”

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