Gary O’Neil says new signing Dango Ouattara is an ‘exciting” player for now and also the future.
Bournemouth signed the 20-year-old winger on Thursday night (19 Jan) for a fee of £20m. Ouattara put pen-to-paper on a five-and-a-half-year deal becoming the club’s first acquisition under Bill Foley.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Cherries Premier League tie with Nottingham Forest, O’Neil said: “He fits where we are at the moment, he’s exciting for here and now, he has real pace, real good attacking attributes, has contributed with goals and assists this season.
“He’s only 20 years old and there’s a lot of work that can be done to make sure he keeps improving.
“He fits where we are with the excitement around the here and now and also an eye on making sure the clubs in a good place for the long term as well.”
Clearly a player for the short and long term, O’Neil will have no hesitation in using his new forward this weekend against Forest. Ouattara was in good form for FC Lorient already this season with six goals and six assists in 18 games for the French club.
“There’s things always to consider around what he’s been doing in the last few days, obviously he’s just had a transfer so it hasn’t been a normal week for him,” explained the Cherries head coach.
“But also there’s a big game in 24 hours and we do have some injuries, the squad isn’t a full strength at the moment, so his addition gives us an option.”
having trained with the squad earlier today (Friday 20 Jan), the Burkina Faso international has already made an impression despite there being a language barrier and new environment to get use to.
O’Neil added: “He did yeah obviously (train) it can be difficult, new country for him, he doesn’t know any of the lads but yeah got stuck in and trained well, we’re pleased to have him.”