AFC Bournemouth manager Scott Parker has admitted he’s been ‘impressed’ with 23-year-old winger Kyle Edwards since he joined the Cherries on trial this week, in an interview with the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
The winger was released by Championship rivals West Bromwich Albion in the summer with the likes of Grady Diangana and Matt Phillips ahead of him in the pecking order at The Hawthorns.
Scottish Premiership side Celtic looked to make the first move by opening talks with the winger at the start of this month – but was spotted on trial with Reading just after the story broke and appeared in multiple friendlies for the Royals in pre-season.
Quiz: What was the score the last time AFC Bournemouth played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Edwards received mixed reviews from the Berkshire side’s fans after seeing him in action – and recently appeared in a warm-up game against Charlton Athletic last Saturday.
But in a Twitter update from the player the following day, he announced his departure from the Select Car Leasing Stadium due to ‘the current situation’.
Although the specific details on why he left without signing a contract remain undisclosed, the Championship outfit are currently operating under a transfer embargo, potentially explaining why he was unable to put pen to paper on a deal.
But he didn’t have to wait long for another club to swoop in, with previously interested side Bournemouth finally handing the 23-year-old a chance to train with their first team after their initial interest and even made an appearance in their friendly against Chelsea in midweek.
After seeing him in action, the south-coast side’s manager has liked what he’s seen of the former West Brom man and speaking to the Bournemouth Daily Echo, he said: “I think he did extremely well in the circumstances, Kyle (against Chelsea).
“He’d been with us for one day, practically done a low-level session, had not worked with us tactically. And to bring him on against Chelsea for 45 minutes, the boy was right up against it in that sense.
“Fair play, I thought he did very, very well. So I’ve been impressed with Kyle.
“We’re weighing that up. He’s with us now for another week or so. So we’ll make a call, see a bit more of him and make a real call on that in terms of what we do nearer that time.”
Although Edwards hasn’t quite unleashed his true potential yet, there’s still plenty of room for improvement at 23 and if a deal can be agreed by both parties, it’s well worth Parker taking a gamble on him.
He may not start every week with the likes of Arnaut Danjuma and David Brooks as two top-quality wide men for the Cherries along with the experienced Junior Stanislas, but Bournemouth will need a reasonable amount of squad depth if they want to aim for promotion next term and Edwards could come in to provide that.
And with Rodrigo Riquelme leaving the Vitality Stadium to return to Atletico Madrid on the expiration of his loan deal, this is an area the club may still want to strengthen even with Stanislas finally agreeing fresh terms on the south coast.
For Reading, this might end up being a blow if Edwards comes good after seeing him play a part in their pre-season games, but there are still plenty of free agents they can pursue as they look to add at least one or two wingers to their squad before the window closes.