2015/16 Finish: 16
It seemed like everyone was rooting for Bournemouth to stay up last season, and they did just that in decently comfortable fashion. The club’s stadium only seats just north of 11,000 people. Though they may not be the biggest club, Bournemouth proved that they were not to be taken lightly as the South coast club beat a few big name clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and West Ham. Eddie Howe is an exciting, young, English manager and had Bournemouth playing some attractive football at times last year, something most newly promoted clubs rarely do. Even with their star goal-scorer, Callum Wilson, missing with an injury for the majority of the season, Bournemouth got the job done and are back for another season in the Premier League.
Transfers In: Hyndman (CM), Mousset (FW), Travers (GK), Ndjoli (FW), Cook (CDM), Ibe (LW), Smith (RB), Ake (LB, Loan)
Bournemouth has had a very active summer thus far. The club has brought in 8 new signings and broke their record transfer fee when they signed Jordan Ibe from Liverpool for a reported £15 million. The former Liverpool winger joins Bournemouth with the hopes of more first team football. Ibe shows a lot of promise and that seems to be the general theme with most of Bournemouth’s incomings this off-season. The likes of Cook, Ibe, Smith, Hyndman and Mousset are all under the age of 22 and have high ceilings, if they hit their heights, Bournemouth could fly up the table. Cook will play a key role in the middle of the park, the defensive midfielder has joined the club from Leeds United after being chased by Manchester United for some time. The additions of Cook and Ake were brought in with the hope of shoring up a leaky defense, after Bournemouth finished the season tied for second-most goals conceded. Lys Mousset is an offensive addition joining from Le Havre after making 29 appearances, scoring 14 and assisting 3.
Transfers Out: Distin (CB), Elphick (CB), Ritchie (RM), Zubar (CB), Tomlin (FW), Murray (FW, Loan) Cornick (FW, Loan)
The biggest name on this list of outs is Matt Ritchie. The winger was very important to Eddie Howe’s side last year and will be missed, but the hope is that new signings Ibe, Mousset and the return from injury of Max Gradel will fill the hole left by the departing Scot. Along with Ritchie, Tommie Elphick, the captain of the club will leave some sizeable shoes to fill in the center of defense. Bournemouth have ready-made replacements to make up for the loss of Elphick, in the form of Daniels and Cook. The thing that will be missed most is his leadership, but with the character of the squad and their manager, that shouldn’t prove to be much of a problem.
Key Player(s): Cook and Wilson
New signing Lewis Cook has the potential to become a great player and a star at Bournemouth. The English midfielder will need to rise to the occasion of the Premier League quickly, if Bournemouth is going to maintain their Premier League status. During Cook’s time at Leeds, he was very highly rated and sought after by some of the biggest clubs in England, he will need to prove that he deserves those plaudits in the upcoming season.
Callum Wilson is undeniably the star at Bournemouth, and if he can remain fit, he will score goals. Wilson has the talent to become a top goal scorer in the Premier League and he has the supporting cast at Bournemouth to make that a real possibility. With the help of Gradel, Ibe and King, Callum Wilson could have a very productive year in the red and black stripes for Bournemouth.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 15
In the end, Bournemouth have made some very good looking signings. Ibe, Cook, Ake and Mousset should all have big roles to play in the upcoming season. After missing for long stretches last season, Gradel and Wilson are fit and ready to make an impact. Bournemouth have a young, exciting squad and have a good chance to make some progress as a club if they can keep their squad together. For this season, however, I see Bournemouth solidifying their role as a Premier League club and laying the foundation to be even more successful in the future.