Bournemouth sign Norwich City striker Lewis Grabban for reported £8million
17:55 11 January 2016
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Bournemouth have completed their long-term pursuit of Norwich City striker Lewis Grabban.
The Canaries are believed to have made a £4.5m profit on the 27-year-old, who joined the club from Bournemouth in 2014 as Neil Adams’ first signing. Grabban was strongly linked with a return move to the Cherries in the last summer transfer window and had made just eight Norwich appearances this season, scoring once.
Grabban was suspended by City after going AWOL ahead of a Capital One Cup second round tie at Rotherham United in August, reportedly as he tried to force through a move to Bournemouth.
Norwich boss Alex Neil reintroduced Grabban to the first-team fold in mid-September, coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool.
The former Millwall and Rotherham hotshot then went on to score his first goal of the season in a 1-1 home draw with Arsenal at the end of November.
However he has not featured since starting the Canaries’ 2-0 loss at Watford in early December and has not even been on the substitutes bench for the past five matches.
Grabban has now returned to Bournemouth though, in a deal thought to be worth £8million.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe thinks Grabban has improved as a player since leaving Dean Court in the summer of 2014, for a reported £3m.
“We’re really pleased to be bringing Grabbs back to Bournemouth,” Howe told his club’s website. “It was such a long drawn out transfer but we’re delighted it’s been done.
“He had such a good time for us, scored goals, worked incredibly hard and it’s a good fit for us.
“He’ll bring enthusiasm and the benefit of Grabbs is that he knows how we play.
“I think we’ll be getting a better Lewis Grabban, but he’ll realise that we’ve got better as well and he will have to adapt too. But we’re in no doubt we’re getting a good player back.
“He’s also someone who was popular in the dressing room, behind the scenes he’s a strong motivator and we’re delighted to be bringing him back.”
Six goals in his first nine games for City, including the only goal in a 1-0 win at Ipswich, saw Grabban become an instant hit. Just two goals followed in his next 22 matches but the forward returned to form after the arrival of Alex Neil.
Another burst of five goals in six games in February and March helped keep City’s promotion push firmly on track but a red card in a 1-1 draw at Rotherham late in the season saw his campaign end on a low note.
In total Grabban scored 13 goals in 44 matches for the Canaries.
He rejoins Bournemouth, where he scored 35 goals in 93 matches to help the Cherries to promotion from League One and then to establish themselves in the Championship, on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
The Dorset club were promoted as champions under Howe last season and are currently two points behind City in the Premier League standings, in 16th place.
Grabban’s signing follows hot on the heels of Bournemouth announcing the signing of striker Benik Afobe from Wolves, in a deal reportedly worth a club-record £10m.
The 22-year-old former Canaries target has joined the Cherries on a four-and-a-half-year deal, having scored 10 goals for Wolves already this season.
Afobe is a proven scorer outside of the Premier League, having scored 32 times for MK Dons and Wolves last season.
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