By Matthew Kirby
Last Updated: 22nd July 2019
Bournemouth face a difficult summer trying to keep hold of key assets following another successful Premier League campaign that saw them go one point better than in 2017/18.
Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser played starring roles in Bournemouth’s 14th place finish, and Eddie Howe could find it hard to fend off suitors.
But Howe has been quick to act in the market by bringing in the highly-touted Bristol City left-back Lloyd Kelly and Luton Town right-back Jack Stacey to solve some of his defensive dilemmas.
Wilson’s 14 league goals saw him take the top scorer award at Dean Court, but with January’s links of a move to Stamford Bridge never materialising and Chelsea under a transfer ban, then there is a chance he could stay put, to the relief of the south coast club.
However, the same cannot be said about Fraser. The Scot recorded 14 assists last season, just one fewer than Eden Hazard, and he is being lined up with a move to Arsenal. The talismanic midfielder is 1/2 to head to north London before the deadline.
Losing Fraser would be a massive blow for Bournemouth and he would need to be replaced to save them being over-reliant on 22-year-old David Brooks, who chipped in with seven goals and five assists in his debut top-flight season.
Howe does have an eye for young talent and did sign Dominic Solanke back in January. However, his injury problems meant he only featured 10 times in the run-in. The question is how he breaks into the starting eleven ahead of Wilson and Josh King.
The goalkeeping conundrum
One issue that needs rectifying is at the back and more in particularly, who plays in goal. After conceding 70 goals last season – only relegated clubs Huddersfield (76) and Fulham (81) conceded more – then Howe has a problem to solve.
Asmir Begović was their first choice for a large part of the season, but the Bosnian made some costly errors and had to distance himself from reports of a bust-up with Howe. With Begović dropped, Artur Boruc deputised, but he’s not getting any younger.
The Polish shot stopper turns 40 in February and only started 12 league games last season, but importantly kept four clean sheets in that time.
With 20-year-old Mark Travers playing the final two games in goal, then there is a chance he gets promoted to number one, especially after making a string of fine saves in their 1-0 victory over Tottenham.
That said, the papers have linked the Cherries with Stoke City’s player of the season Jack Butland and he’s 9/2 to make the switch. Butland has spoken about his ambition to move on from the Championship side as he looks to challenge Jordan Pickford as England’s number one.
With the likes of Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers already busy in this transfer window, Bournemouth will need to spend if they want to continue making strides and claim to a top-ten finish.