​Bournemouth winger Max Gradel has been ruled out for six months with a ruptured cruciate ligament.

The Ivorian international, a £7m summer signing from French side St Etienne, suffered the affliction in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Leicester.

The winger has had a similar injury previously, which he picked up while playing for St. Etienne in 2013.

With the injury occurring just days before the transfer window slammed shut, it left little or no time to secure an adequate replacement.

Eddie Howe's side were reported to have made a late bid for Sunderland's Will Buckley to help fill the void left by Gradel's injury, but time was not on their side and they could not complete a deal quickly enough.

The Cherries did secure deals for Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray, Aston Villa's Joe Bennett and River Plate's Tomas Andrade on the final day of the window, but were unable to find somebody in the same mould as Gradel.

The news will come as a huge blow to the club who will now be without one of their marquee signings for more than half of of the campaign.

The Cherries have had a bright start to the season and have recovered after losing their first two games of their maiden Premier League outing - 1-0 defeats to both Aston Villa and Liverpool.

Since then they enjoyed an exhilarating 4-3 victory against West Ham and a spirited 1-1 draw with in-form Leicester, as well as a confidence boosting 4-0 demolition of Hartlepool in the Capital One Cup.

But this latest set back will test their resolve. Losing a key player for any side is a tough task, but even more so for a newly promoted club with a limited budget like Bournemouth. 

Liverpool v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League