The Cherries surprised everyone by finishing ninth last season after many pundits pegged them as having the weakest side in the Premier League. Bournemouth look to continue their success from last season and become a Premier League mainstay under resourceful manager Eddie Howe.
Bournemouth’s squad features a healthy mix of youth and experience that played very well last year on their way to a top-half of the table finish. The up and coming Cherries have continued a meteoric rise through the ranks of English football that fans will hope the team can continue in the top flight league.
Nathan Ake, CB (from Chelsea, £20 million)
Asmir Begovic, GK (from Chelsea, undisclosed)
Jermaine Defoe, ST (from Sunderland, free)
Connor Mahoney, RW (from Blackburn, free)
Callum Buckley, LB, (Released)
Jake McCarthy, (Released)
Alexander Neale, (Released)
Max Travers, (loaned to Weymouth)
Ryan Allsop, GK, (loaned to Blackpool)
Reviewing Summer Business
Bournemouth have done well to bring back Nathan Ake who was in on loan last season, preserving much of the consistency of the roster that led them to a surprise 9th place finish. Despite paying a fairly steep price, Ake remains a top prospect that has had experience playing with Bournemouth’s squad and provides decent depth at the Center Back position for the Cherries.
Asmir Begovic is a great signing for Bournemouth. After flying under the radar as a backup for Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea, the 30-year-old keeper offers a vast amount of Premier League experience from his tenure with Stoke City. He also should have many years still to offer the club, which is in need of a keeper with aging veteran Artur Boruc coming towards the end of his career. Expect Begovic to become the starting keeper this season.
With a surprisingly shrewd bit of business, Bournemouth brought in veteran Premier League striker Jermain Defoe on a free from newly relegated Sunderland. This move keeps a productive striker in the top flight league and should add some further scoring threats for the Cherries as an option off the bench and as a depth option for manager Eddie Howe. In two and a half seasons with Sunderland, Defoe scored 37 goals in 93 appearances for a side that had one of the weakest offenses that the Premier League has seen in years. His ability to consistently contribute with key goals can only help Bournemouth this season.
The last bits of business for the Cherries included bringing in young winger Connor Mahoney and releasing and loaning several players surplus to requirements this season. Therefore, the Cherries have done well to avoid bigger clubs coming in and snatching away the core group of players that produced so much success last year.
Things to Improve On
Last season, Bournemouth was surprisingly adept at scoring goals, ending with 55 scored on the season. However, they were also adept at allowing goals, giving away 67 goals to the opposition in the Premier League. Therefore, Bournemouth need to focus on shoring up defensive strategy or bring in a new player to bolster the defense if they hope to duplicate their success from last year. It will be interesting to see if the team plan to bring in any new players to create a stronger defense or if they will hope to address it through a change in focus or tactics during the upcoming season.
What to Expect
Expect Bournemouth to continue to surprise and frustrate bigger teams that underestimate them and for their offense to explode with goals against bottom table teams stuck in a rut. Last season, Bournemouth surprised Liverpool 4-3 in a stunning match, and put up 4 or more goals against relegation teams on multiple occasions. With a squad that has only gotten stronger, expect them to match up similarly against other mid- to bottom-table teams that have not made significant moves to bolster their squads. Bournemouth should match up very favorably against newly promoted sides.
Based on their performance last season and their moves in the transfer market, Bournemouth should finish right around 12th or 11th this season. They have made several new signings but several other mid-table teams seem to have done a bit more to strengthen their team and address weaknesses than Bournemouth have done, and therefore expect a small handful of other teams to leapfrog Bournemouth in the standings during the next year. However, the team should definitely expect to stay in the Premier League this year and continue to build to become a Premier League mainstay for the next few years.