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West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has already done homework on Benik Afobe

Published 12/01/2016

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic does not need to swot up on Bournemouth new boy Benik Afobe - as he was expecting to face him three days earlier.

Striker Afobe was due to be in the Wolves squad which travelled to Upton Park in the FA Cup on Saturday, only to be withdrawn as transfer talks with the Cherries progressed.

The former Arsenal youngster tied up the big-money switch on Sunday and is now poised to make his Bournemouth debut tonight, ironically against Bilic's Hammers.

"We were expecting him to play on Saturday so I have already watched him in a few games," said the West Ham boss. "He's a very good player.

"They have also signed Juan Iturbe from Roma who is a great winger. Bournemouth are thinking big so well done to them.

"They had a lot of injuries and have done well to maintain good results without those players, but they have probably been waiting for this transfer window."

Bournemouth were surprise 4-3 winners at Upton Park in August, so Bilic knows exactly what to expect from Eddie Howe's men.

"They are a good side, they have been together a long time with the same manager, and now they have added a couple of players," added Bilic. "They are well organised, hard to beat and run a lot, so we are aware of what to expect."

Belfast Telegraph

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