The Ivorian made his first appearance for Bournemouth following his summer switch from Ligue 1 this weekend.
Newly promoted Bournemouth may not have got off to the best start when they lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on Saturday, but there were reasons to be cheerful nonetheless.
Most notably, summer signing Max Gradel looked brilliant when he came on and while he only played for the last 21 minutes his was the performance that had everyone talking at the final whistle.
The former Leeds United player shone in Ligue 1 for Saint-Etienne last season, scoring 13 goals in his last 12 league appearances and ending the campaign with 17 goals and five assists in all competitions.
The 27-year-old is a wonderful addition to Bournemouth’s squad and by the end of the season he could well prove to be the difference between survival and relegation, such is his talent.
He certainly looked like he was raring to go when he came off the bench against a Villa side who ultimately won 1-0 courtesy of a Rudy Gestede header.
Gradel was a Leeds fan favourite during his time at Elland Road and his new supporters quickly realised why, with the Ivorian’s energetic performance bringing real threat to Bournemouth’s front-line.
Expect him to start the next match, and to score plenty of goals between now and May having finally returned to England after previously appearing 27 times for Leicester City and 82 times for Leeds.
After the match we took to Twitter to see what Bournemouth fans thought of Gradel’s league debut and you can read a selection of what we found below:
Think there were hardly any negatives yesterday besides the goal and the occasional stray passes. Many more positives, especially Gradel— Dom (@SirDomThorn) August 9, 2015
Thought there were some real positives yesterday. Josh King looked impressive on debut, the place was buzzing when Max Gradel came on and ..— TheLastKingOfDorset (@AFCBCraig) August 9, 2015
@samdavisuk Absolutely no disrespect to Marc Pugh. Just thought Gradel was electric when he came on— Tim (@TheTimSpencer) August 8, 2015
Love how MOTD are making Micah Richards look like he was rock solid, when gradel came on he was having him on toast EVERY time xD #afcb— Olly (@xXOLPMXxFifa) August 8, 2015
Gradel looked outstanding when he came on. Proper quality we need in the final third. #afcb— Joe Simpson (@98Jobo) August 8, 2015