How does the AFC Bournemouth squad shape up heading into the Championship campaign after the international break? Thin on numbers but not necessarily thin on quality?
Written by kirsikka
— Goalkeepers —
It seemed clear that if Begovic could find a new home he’d be off and the likely replacement was Philips from Charlton. The cards didn’t fall that way for Asmir though so he’s with us and is now the man in possession. No need for any new recruits here as we have an excellent prospect as second choice and would hope there’s never a need for the Dennis to be pressed into action. Third choice keeper isn’t a wise place for us to be spending budget at the moment so that’s understandable.
— Defenders —
We’ve reportedly had a bid knocked back for a Central Defender in Davies at Preston so hopefully, there is still a plan in place to bring in another quality body. In addition to that, it seems likely Charlie Daniels will get getting a new deal as long as he doesn’t break down. That would leave us in pretty decent shape for quality and depth, with Ofoborh as the emergency option.
The danger is if a PL club decides to try and get Cook (West Ham linked) or Rico (Sheff Utd linked). Even given Cook’s contract situation it has to be on our terms, giving us enough cash and leaving us enough time to get in a suitable replacement.
— Midfielders —
This should be an embarrassment of riches in the Championship but the players still need to be on it 100% to exert their quality over the opposition. Ease off even a little and they could come off worse in the battle, as we’ve seen. Still, four genuinely good players and a young player who prospered in L1 last season should be more than enough in terms of quality and depth.
There were a few murmurings but I don’t think there’s any realistic prospect of any of them moving on.
— Wingers/Forwards —
This is affected a little by the formation we use but there are some concerns. Sadly, season after season Junior misses big chunks of games so if we get 20 out of him then we should be thankful. That leaves the other three carrying the burden between them. That would leave us with one niggle or suspension from not having a first-team sub-option when a player is having a bad game.
Brooks and Danjuma have both proved susceptible to picking up one thing or another. And Riquelme is a total unknown when it comes to playing full throttle first-team football twice a week. There’s also the danger a PL club might hit the big red panic button and thwack a massive bid for Brooks onto our doormat.
I’d love to see another option here. If Brooks goes then it should be two but he could be the key to the season so I hope we keep hold of him.
— Strikers —
We need King gone sooner rather than later and we then need his replacement through the door. Given the preferred formation, it looks like it will be one upfront but sometimes horses for courses will demand a two which means a minimum of three first-team strikers on the books.
If King doesn’t get the move then we need to sit him down and make sure his head is in the right place so he can earn a move back to the PL in January.
— Youngsters —
I think a season at L1 under his belt means Ofoborh would have been playing in the Championship this year come what may so I consider him a first-team squad player rather than a youngster. The other three have all shown something, either in the past, in preseason friendlies or in a cup match. Good to have as emergency options but impossible to say how well they would adapt when called upon. If so, I can only wish them the best of luck. Sometimes you are forced to play the kids and then it’s sink or swim for them.
So, despite all the departures, I think we’re only really three players short of the squad we need to carry some depth into the season. Daniels seems a given, then another defender and a wide forward/winger. After that, it would be a case of one out one in which is something out of our hands and dependent on players being bought. In an ideal world, the only one going would be King.
The feedback coming from the club was to judge them when the window closes, not what happens at the start of it. They’ve got just over a week to show they really do mean to go for it this season. It doesn’t need to be extravagant spending. Smart recruitment is much more preferable. A Callum Wilson instead of a Lewis Grabban.
JT's transfer window priority?
Buy a defender
Buy a striker
We certainly 2-4 bodies short for me, it’s correct to say that we’re only a few injuries away from a big drop off in the side’s quality or experience.
I’d definitely like to see Daniels signed up, similar to Rico he can play either left centre back or left wing-back slots, but also offers the experience to a very young dressing room. Ideally, I’d also like to see a proper CB signing, more right-sided, but this would cost money.
IF we got both of those, I’d then send Simpson out on loan to L1 to play every game for a season. Ofoborh can fill in any remaining gaps.
I’m worried about the wide options. We have lots of ability there, but Brooks and Stanislas can’t be relied upon to play 40 games. No idea what Riquelme brings as yet. It might sound sentimental but Pugh would be a known quantity, on a free, offering depth. We don’t necessarily need a star man signing there, but we do need depth.
If King goes, I worry about centre forward. Solanke and Surridge seem light for a side seriously chasing promotion in the Championship. Trouble is the King situation rumbles on and on, it might go down to the wire again. I worry we’ll be left in the lurch losing King and not having time to sign a replacement. Perhaps we could preempt this sooner, with a loan until January that can be either returned if King stays or made permanent later if King goes.
Still, a lot of potential work for JT and co to do, and not much time remaining… – Join the conversation, click here.