Saturday, January 23, 2021

Bournemouth preview – Another solid season ahead

Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth side defied all expectations when they stayed in the Premier League a few years back. Since then, they have established themselves as a solid Premier League side – something I can’t see changing this year.

State of play

Bournemouth have had a relatively uneventful summer this year but have gone about their transfer business shrewdly. They’ve made four signings this summer – they are:

Jack Stacey (£4million) from Luton, Lloyd Kelly (£13million) from Bristol City, Philip Billing (£14million) from Huddersfield and most recently, Arnaut Danjuma (£16million) from Club Brugges.

Perhaps crucially, they’ve managed to keep hold of all of their star players with Ryan Fraser, David Brooks, Callum Wilson and Josh King all set to stay at The Vitality. Eddie Howe has built a very decent squad down on the south coast and as far as I’m concerned, is well worth his reputation as one of England’s best managers.

As far as pre-season is concerned, Bournemouth have picked up three wins, one draw and two losses this summer. They capped off a very decent summer with a cracking 3-0 win over Olympique Lyon at the Vitality Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Bournemouth Signing of the summer

The top signing of Bournemouth’s summer for me is central midfielder, Philip Billing. The Danish midfielder arrives from relegated Huddersfield for just under £15million and will likely come straight into the Bournemouth side.

I would expect him to play alongside Jefferson Lerma in the centre of the park, providing an extra layer of coverage in front of the back four. With his height, athleticism and his ability to win the ball back, he’ll be key to Bournemouth’s push for the top ten this season. There are still a few areas of his game he needs to polish up, but he’s still young and has plenty of time to grow. This is one of my favourite deals of the whole summer – I wish my team could have bought him.

Kieran’s verdict

This season, I can see Bournemouth maybe just missing out on the top ten. I see them competing directly with West Ham for that tenth position in the league – should be an interesting battle that one.

One thing is for sure, they won’t have to worry too much about what’s behind them. They should be able to look up the table only all season long. Bournemouth fans must look at comments like that and just pinch themselves when they think about where they were ten years ago. The dictionary definition of a meteoric rise.

They’re a club I find it hard to find any reason to dislike – I wish the Cherries all the best for the season.

< Aston Villa

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