AFC Bournemouth: Who is Tokelo Rantie?

Tokelo Rante

On Wednesday 28 August Championship side AFC Bournemouth broke the club's transfer record to sign South Africa international Tokelo Rantie from Swedish club Malmo.

Rantie, a relative unknown in England, already has 12 caps for South Africa at the age of 22 and is on the way to becoming a cult hero for Bafana Bafana.

BBC World Service sports reporter John Bennett has followed his progress and watched him at this year's Africa Cup of Nations, and he gave BBC Radio Solent the lowdown on the striker.

"Rantie is very pacy, he's got quick feet, can win a lot of free kicks, is someone who likes to take people on and get in behind defences.

"But from what I saw at the Africa Cup of Nations and from speaking to other journalists he can be frustrating with his finishing. It sometimes takes him four or five chances before he scores, but he does get in good positions and the good thing for Bournemouth is that he is a very physical player and should be able to cope with the physical nature of the Championship straight away - he is a very strong player.

"There will be a few question marks because the standard of the Swedish league is below that of the Championship. In terms of the physical nature it is also a step up, but he is a big, stocky player and he will cope with that.

"Rantie started off at an academy called Stars of Africa Academy and had a few loan spells throughout the world. He did not play much in South Africa, but did have a season on loan at Orlando Pirates and became a fans' favourite there.

"During that season Orlando actually wanted to sign him, but felt the fee was too high, and they will be regretting that now as the fee Bournemouth have paid is significantly higher.

"He made his name at Malmo and I'm told the fans there are very upset as he has just started coming into some form. Malmo beat Hibs 7-0 a few weeks ago and he was the star of the game - he scored one and set up two and he is in form and I think Bournemouth are signing him at a good time.

"He is very ambitious and always talked about Malmo being a stepping stone. It was a way to get into a bigger league in Europe as he knew a lot of scouts look at the Swedish league. I think he will be relishing playing for Bournemouth in the Championship but perhaps he will also see Bournemouth as a stepping stone into the Premier League.

"The fee will put a lot of pressure on him but from what I've seen he can cope with it. At the Africa Cup of Nations in front of huge crowds he seemed to be one of the players who relished the pressure.

"Bu he will see this as a very good move, the Championship has a good reputation, the games are broadcast in South Africa and he will see this as the right move at the right time. He is joining an ambitious club with a good young manager.

"He is very popular in South Africa because he is very direct, likes to run at players and take people on and I got the impression when I was in South Africa for the Cup of Nations that he was becoming a cult hero.

"He is a player a lot of South Africa fans will be watching very carefully and I think Bournemouth will pick up a few new fans now they have made this signing."

Interview by BBC Radio Solent's Andrew Moon

Top Stories