Bournemouth’s talented and versatile defender, Lloyd Kelly – who can play either full back or centre half – is a January target of Eddie Howe’s, according the Daily Mail’s Craig Hope.
The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards reports that the NUFC boss is keen on Kelly AND Cherries teammate Dominic Solanke; the striker Howe brought to Bournemouth three years ago in a deal worth £19m.
However, with Bournemouth three points clear at the top of the Championship, both claim that the South Coast club are hugely reluctant to sell their leading scorer – currently on 19 goals – or club captain at this vital stage of the season.
Howe clearly possesses great admiration for Kelly, as his comments in 2020 made clear following his £13m move from Bristol City:
“ I think one of the great things about Lloyd when I first met him – I was blown away by how mature he was…how much mental capacity he had to want to improve and learn and to become the very best player that he can be. He’s certainly someone who I think could have leadership capabilities as he grows through his career.”
Kelly is certainly proving Howe right, judging by his rock solid performances in the Championship this season.
The defender’s versatility and leadership capabilities are exactly what Howe would be wanting to add to his squad this month, not to mention the fact he’s an athletic centre-back who is comfortable on the ball.
However, it’s likely that the lure of Premiership football and it’s associated riches may be deemed just too important for the club to consider parting with their talisman or top defender this season.
Let’s hope that the NUFC boss and his busy scouting team can find a versatile defender with very similar qualities and a forward capable of filling in for Callum Wilson, if Bournemouth refuse to budge.