When Harry Arter made his move to AFC Bournemouth in June 2010, the Cherries had just earned promotion from the fourth tier of English football.
Arter himself was making the step up from Conference South side Woking, who despite playing at the sixth tier of English pyramid had valued a then 20-year-old Arter at £30,000.
The fee was eventually settled by a Football Association tribunal at a mere £4,000.
At such a low fee, it could be argued that Arter was former AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s greatest transfer signing.
He amassed over 250 appearances in all competitions and played an undeniable key role in AFC Bournemouth’s rise from the third tier of English football to establishing themselves in the Premier League.
He was the heart of the Cherries midfield as AFC Bournemouth won promotion from League One in 2013 and won the Championship title just two years later in 2015.
Arter remained a key player as the Cherries made the step up into the Premier League until tragedy off the pitch struck in December 2015 when partner Rachel gave birth to stillborn baby Renee.
In a sense, Arter’s permanent departure from Dean Court has been two-years in the making.
In August 2018, Arter joined Cardiff City on loan in the Premier League. He made 25 appearances for the Welsh club as they were relegated from the top flight of English football.
The following summer, Arter was looking for a move away from the south coast again and in August 2019 Arter joined Fulham on loan, it seemed a good fit, back in London and working with brother-in-law Scott Parker.
Arter made 29 appearances in all competitions scoring 3 goals as Fulham won promotion from the Championship to the Premier League at the first time of asking via the Play-Offs. As part of the loan deal that saw the now 30-year-old move to Craven Cottage, the deal would be made permanent if Fulham were promoted and Arter had triggered a Championship appearances clause. With Arter making 28 Championship appearances the clause was not triggered and he returned once again to the Cherries.
With a third summer departure in three years expected, Arter was somewhat of a surprise inclusion in AFC Bournemouth’s recent starting XI in the League Cup match at Dean Court against Crystal Palace. Arter played 83 minutes of the game that the Cherries went on to win 11-10 in a penalty shoot-out, Arter was many peoples choice as man of the match, as he pulled on a Cherries shirt for a final time.
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) September 22, 2020
But it was clear, despite a first appearance in the red and black since January 2018, Arter’s future was elsewhere and on Tuesday night the news broke that Arter’s ten-year association with AFC Bournemouth had ended with an undisclosed fee paid by Championship rivals Nottingham Forest.
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) September 22, 2020
🍒 Inevitable end of the road at #AFCB for Harry Arter. In fact, that came two years ago, realistically. Terrific competitor, can ping a pass, motivate, been through more than anyone should, and, boy, would I not want to be on the end of a tackle from him. Good luck H. #nffc pic.twitter.com/9PXdWwZQGQ
— Kris Temple (@kristemple) September 22, 2020
Upon signing the deal Harry Arter told Nottingham Forest’s official website…
“…I’ve been promoted twice, once with Bournemouth and once with Fulham, and they were two completely different experiences. At both clubs we had a group of determined players who knew what their end goal was and that’s what we need to have here. I feel like I can add that mentality to the squad because the older you get, the more you realise you have to try and influence people around you.
“The club and the manager have made it very clear they want me to bring that winning mentality into the dressing room and I like to think quality and experience are two things I can add to a talented group of players who were good enough to make the play-offs last season…”
“…The Championship is such an unpredictable league but you have to aim and strive for consistency across all areas. Ultimately, the teams that get promoted this season will be the ones who are the most consistent. The club have added quality players to the squad this summer and I think it will be a really good group to be a part of.
“Every club will suffer disappointment at some stage but we need to use that feeling from the end of last season to push ourselves on to a strong start this time around. There are still 44 games to go and if we can now put together a run of three or four wins in a row then we can hit the season with momentum and achieve our main aim of promotion.”
Let’s be honest, he’d have been great to have as part of the squad but he didn’t want to be due to non-footballing reasons so moving him on frees up more budget for us to spend. That’s good for us, even if he has ended up at a rival club. There was no point stockpiling him in case he helped someone else but, at the same time, not being able to play him or use the money he’d be taking up.
It’s easy to keep latching on to the Kelly tackle but that’s in the past. Instead, there are so many wonderful memories of him to recall. However, for this moment which is the absolute epitome of s***housery in a game against a club where there was some real niggle, I shall always salute him.
It brings a beautiful smile to my face to imagine how the Watford fans would have been spitting feathers.
Harry, thank you and good luck. Only not at our expense. – Join the conversation, click here.