Premier League – Howe rocked by Defoe blow

Eddie Howe has been hit by the news that Jermain Defoe is out for up to 10 weeks but insists he won’t panic buy in January.

Defoe was injured in the Cherries EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea in midweek and the club have now confirmed that he has suffered a fractured ankle, meaning a lengthy lay-off.

It would be a blow to lose Jermain for any amount of time but I think we’ve got the cover.

Eddie Howe

It is a severe blow to Bournemouth who slipped into the Premier League bottom three after Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to leaders Manchester City.

After a revival in October and November when they won three in four games, they are now winless in seven and will hope to arrest that slide when they entertain fellow strugglers West Ham on Boxing Day.

Howe stressed after Saturday’s loss that they had played both Manchester clubs and Liverpool in their last three games and, though all have been lost, his team now have the opportunity to pick up points over the Christmas programme.

The game against the Hammers is followed by another home game, against Everton, on Saturday and then a trip along the south coast to Brighton on New Year’s Day.

The January transfer window then opens but Howe says that he will not be looking to rush to replace Defoe with plenty of forwards already at the club.

He said: “The beauty of it is we do have a good array of options in the striking department – five strikers are quite a lot to carry.

“Usually we play with two up front so I think that was a necessity. It would be a blow to lose Jermain for any amount of time but I think we’ve got the cover.

“We maybe don’t have the strength in-depth in terms of numbers at the moment with the injuries but hopefully they’ll be back soon.”

The Cherries are 13/8 to win on Boxing Day with the Hammers, just one place above the drop zone, priced at 8/5. The draw is 23/10.

Bournemouth are 2/1 to be relegated at the end of the season.

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