Search Icon
info icon

Bournemouth busy to assert Premiership status

As the football season symbolically closes after this weekend’s Champions League final, it marks the opening of the most fragile period in a club’s season - the transfer window.

With the summer months of June and July providing time for players to relax somewhere exotic, for managers, it can attract more stress and work than in the heart of the fixture calendar.

And for one manager, fresh from a brief celebratory period after his third promotion in six years, the work is well under way.

Eddie Howe, manager of AFC Bournemouth, added four new recruits to his squad last week, signalising strong intent for next season’s performances.

Ex-Southampton shot-stopper Artur Boruc has joined the Cherries on a permanent deal, after he impressed last season on a season-long loan. The contract will see the Pole stay for an initial 12-months, with the option for a further year.

With strength in depth now recognisably a key factor in survival and success in the Premier League, Adam Federici was added swiftly by Eddie Howe, again for a free transfer, after his contract with Reading expired after their 10-year association.

Pace proved to be the most threatening attribute of AFC Bournemouth’s title winning side, with the front trio of Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie and Marc Pugh scoring and providing freely throughout the campaign.

Adding to his attractive and fast-football philosophy, Howe acquired the services of Christian Atsu on a season-long loan from the newly crowned Premier League Champions Chelsea. Despite not impressing for Everton, admirable contributions to the Ghanaian national squad in the AFCON suggest his threat from wide positions.

Finally, Norwegian frontman Joshua King, formerly of Manchester United, was snapped up by Eddie Howe, for a compensation-fee from Blackburn Rovers. Recognised widely for his hat trick against Stoke City in the FA Cup, King will look to challenge Callum Wilson for the number-9 spot in the squad.

With no big names being prized away from the Goldsands thus far, the intent from Eddie Howe and his bravery to build on positions that are occupied by talented individuals could prove to be a defining moment come the end of the Cherries first season in the top flight. Acquiring the two goalkeepers, both of whom have Premier League experience, for no fee is remarkable, considering the interest they must have attracted from clubs elsewhere.

Following the pacey playstyle that served them so well next season is also a refreshing sight. With QPR and Burnley both struggling to find goalscorers away from the two front men in Austin and Ings arguably being the main factor in their relegation to the Championship, it’s one mistake that needs to be avoided - one mistake that Eddie Howe is ambitious to not repeat.

Photo: AFC Bournemouth