Defoe won't be leaving Bournemouth - Howe

The striker has been linked to Nottingham Forest but his manager said his squad is small as it is and no one will be leaving on loan.

Eddie Howe has insisted Jermain Defoe will not be loaned out and is a key part of his plans at Bournemouth.

The striker played 86 minutes in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win over MK Dons on Tuesday night but has not featured in the Premier League since coming on as a substitute on the opening day against Cardiff City.

Defoe has been linked with a temporary switch to Championship side Nottingham Forest but, when asked, Howe strongly denied a loan move is in the offing.

“No, I’m not going to let anyone go," the Cherries boss told Sky Sports.  "Our squad is our squad. We’re not huge on numbers, and we also have a couple of injuries at the moment.

"Jermain’s a valued member of our squad, we only carry four strikers so there’s absolutely no chance of him going anywhere."

Defoe returned to the south coast in 2017 after an impressive 2016-17 season with Sunderland, but made only 11 league starts last term, scoring four goals.

He had previously impressed for Bournemouth on loan from West Ham as a teenager but, at 35, he may now be looking for more game time. 

The former England international could be further up the pecking order after his strike partner Lys Mousset was forced off with a knock against the Dons.

"Lys picked up a twisted ankle, it was serious enough for him to come off; it’s reasonably serious so we’ll have to wait and see,” said Howe. “I think Marc (Pugh) may miss this weekend at Chelsea.”

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Summer signings Jefferson Lerma (midfield) and Diego Rico (left-back) made their debuts on Tuesday night and Howe was impressed by the way the duo performed.

“It’s very difficult to come straight in and go well, but they did. It will do them the world of good to have that experience."

Howe is expected to revert back to his centre-forward pairing of Callum Wilson and Josh King when Bournemouth travel to Chelsea on Saturday.