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Defender has had thoughts about leaving Bournemouth

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AFC Bournemouth defender Chris Mepham has confessed in a candid interview that he has had thoughts about whether or not he should leave the Cherries.

The 26-year-old has been on the south coast for five years, having joined the club from Brentford for in-excess of £10 million in January 2019.

During his first half-season with the Cherries, Mepham made 13 appearances in the Premier League, including 10 starts. However, in his first full season at the club, he was unable to better these statistics, playing just 61 additional minutes of football. The campaign would also end in relegation from the top flight of English football.

But with the departure of Nathan Ake to Manchester City, this gave the Wales international an opportunity for more game time and Mepham made 48 appearances in the Championship over the course of two seasons, making 33 starts.

However, his best run of consistent starts came back in the Premier League, under former head coaches Scott Parker and Gary O’Neil. Last season Mepham made 26 Premier League appearances including 24 starts, spanning 2,198 minutes of top-flight football.

But under new head coach Andoni Iraola and with the impressive form of centre-back options Lloyd Kelly, Marcos Senesi and Illia Zabarnyi, Mepham has been limited to just 5 appearances, 2 starts and 177 minutes of football this season.

Harboring international ambitions with Wales at this summer’s UEFA European Championships, Mepham has confessed that he may have to look elsewhere for regular first-team football.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Mepham was asked “if he had thought about potentially leaving the club?”

“Naturally you have to.

“I have been at the club a long time. I am probably – in football terms – coming to the peak of a career now at 26.

“The next couple of years are important for me. I’ll hopefully have the Euros in the summer.

“It’s important to play week-in-week-out. If you are not getting the game time you want and need to you have to be open to all options…”

“…I am not angry towards anyone, I don’t carry that negativity. I would like to think I am positive around the place and give encouragement to the lads. I will never not be that guy.

“I just think sometimes things don’t always work out as you want and sometimes there’s a better fit for you elsewhere.”

Your say…

Cherriess said…

So Meps. Will he stay or will he go? I’d imagine the club would like him to stay as a squad player, but it seems Meps wants a permanent move or loan to give him more game time. Fair enough really. No point in keeping a player who’s frustrated as that’s not good for him or the team morale. Just a case of bringing in another centre back. Maybe this is another reason for recalling James Hill? – To join the conversation, click here.

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