Bournemouth

Bournemouth

Premier League • England

Bournemouth sign Championship striker, but key target fails medical in hectic day for Gary O’Neil

Antoine Semenyo TEAMtalk

AFC Bournemouth have confirmed their third January arrival after signing highly-rated Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo for a fee of £10.5million.

The 23-year-old was expected to join the Cherries alongside Villarreal forward Nicolas Jackson, but reportedly the latter has failed his medical due to a hamstring injury and now the deal is off.

Nevertheless, getting a deal over the line for Semenyo is certainly positive for Gary O’Neil, who has been keen to bolster his squad ahead of the second half of the season.

Bournemouth have endured a difficult start to the Premier League campaign after winning just four of their 20 opening league matches and currently sit in the relegation zone.

They have found scoring goals difficult this season, after scoring just 19 goals so far. None of their players have scored more than four goals across all competitions, so there was big pressure on O’Neil to bring in a new striker.

TEAMtalk revealed at the beginning of January that the English manager had put Semenyo at the top of his transfer shortlist, but was facing competition for him.

But now, Bournemouth have officially got a deal over the line for Semenyo, who signs for the Cherries on a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Bournemouth were also hoping to get another highly-rated young forward signed too: 21-year-old Jackson from Villarreal. But according to Sky Sports, that deal is now off after the Senegal international failed his medical.

Semenyo has the quality to turn Bournemouth’s season around

Semenyo arrives at the Vitality Stadium with big pressure on his shoulders, but possesses the quality to be a real force for the Cherries this season after thriving in the Championship with Bristol City.

The centre-forward made 125 appearances for the Robins overall, scoring 21 goals and adding 22 assists.

Having signed for the club in 2017, he spent time on loan at Bath City and Newport County before establishing himself at Ashton Gate.

Semenyo made a fast start the current campaign, opening the 2022/23 campaign with three goals in his first four appearances.

He enjoyed an equally impressive run of form to start 2023, ending his Bristol City career with four goals in his final five matches for the club.

Semenyo also picked up some valuable experience playing for Ghana at the World Cup in Qatar, where he featured against Portugal and Uruguay.

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake was thrilled to get a deal done for the forward. 

Speaking to the official Bournemouth website, he said: “Antoine is an exciting player and one we have monitored for a while.

“He had interest from elsewhere and so we’re delighted to welcome him to the club.”

Indeed, it is believed that Semenyo was also being targeted by Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, so securing his signature could prove to be a real coup by Bournemouth.

He becomes the third signing of the January transfer window for the Cherries, following the arrivals of winger Dango Ouattara from Lorient and Darren Randolph from Aston Villa.

Ouatarra, like Semenyo, could prove to be an exciting attacking addition, after netting six goals and making six assists in 18 appearances in Ligue 1, before picking up his first assist in England on his debut in Bournemouth’s recent 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Indeed, if the pair can find their feet quickly in the Premier League, signing them could prove to be the difference between relegation and survival for O’Neil’s team.

READ MORE: One for every club: A player all 20 Premier League sides should look to sign before the January transfer window closes