AFC Bournemouth captain Simon Francis fully expects Cherries manager Eddie Howe to add numbers to his defensive options over the summer.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Cherries back four, plus goalkeeper has selected itself presuming that everyone was fit enough to play.
Artur Boruc, would be selected in goal with Adam Smith at right back, Charlie Daniels at left back and Simon Francis and Steve Cook at centre back.
Adam Federici has offered competition for Boruc, with Tyrone Mings and Baily Cargill the only other centre backs amongst the squad and left back Brad Smith offering some additional cover.
Francis told the Daily Echo…
‘Competition for places is what it is all about at the top level, you have to have that.
‘At times our squad has been bare and we could probably have done with more defenders. We have had a few injuries and had to play players out of position.
‘Because of the injuries we had in the past few seasons, I was pushed inside to centre-half and I have not looked back.
‘I have enjoyed playing there a lot. I am sure the manager will look at the depth of the squad over the summer.’
One thing for next season is to phase out a few players who likely won’t be at this level for too much longer in their career. Boruc and Surman for two, probably Francis also if we’re being brutally honest. All 3 will have their part to play next season, all 3 are likely to get plenty of games. But that cannot remain the core spine of the side for much longer. A more gradual phase out through next season is better than suddenly being forced into it in 12 months time.
Swap Boruc, Francis and Surman for: Begovic, maybe Ake or similar, and Lewis Cook through next season. With the former 3 on the bench to provide experience. Together with Mings and Mousset who are only going to improve. Suddenly our squad has a longer term fresher look about it.
If we bring in both Defoe and Terry, it’ll set us back in that freshening up exercise. I’d rather Defoe out of the two.
I’m sure we’ll be in the market for a winger, because we always are! Gradel looks likely to leave. Pugh has a couple of years around his peak yet but that position will be on Eddie’s mind, as Ibe is currently a long way off the required standard. – Join the conversation here.
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