Following AFC Bournemouth’s relegation from the Premier League at the end of the prolonged Coronavirus hit 2019/20 campaign, the Cherries sold first-choice goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to Sheffield United, for a deal said to be worth in-excess of £20million.
The move opened the door for young Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Mark Travers to stake a claim for the first-team shirt, with Asmir Begovic very much out of favour under former manager Eddie Howe and Artur Boruc departing after five-years with the Cherries.
AFC Bournemouth headed into the opening day of the season with the situation very much unknown, reports had suggested that Begovic could be a target for Turkey Super Lig side Fenerbahce. Whilst former AFC Bournemouth Under 21’s assistant manager Mark Molesley had lavished praise on Travers, backing him to make the step-up.
All indicators pointed towards Travers being selected to lead the Cherries Championship promotion-chasing campaign, a poll on AFCB Vital had Travers receiving 68% backing when asked: “Who should be AFC Bournemouth’s Number One?”. Begovic received just 8%, 5% having no idea at all and 19% wanting a new signing.
To seemingly everyone’s surprise Asmir Begovic was handed quite literally the number one shirt number and has made it his own, with a string of commanding performances, with confidence and stature building with every game. The 33-year-old is now showing some of the best form of his career, an almost unrecognisable player in comparison to the shot-stopper who had, quite rightly, lost his place under Howe.
It has been very much a feel-good story, no matter how far you fall, no matter how unlikely it seems, if you work hard and have the motivation, you can turn things around and that is a huge testament to Asmir Begovic.
It, however, has had an unfortunate knock-on effect on 21-year-old Mark Travers as he has had to sit on the bench and watch his chance of first-team football disappear.
At his age, just like Ramsdale before him, he needs to get out and play regular first-team football that matters and so, he has now joined Swindon Town on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season.
— Mark travers (@marktravers40) January 6, 2021
Travers joined Swindon Town, who boast former AFC Bournemouth favourite Brett Pitman amongst their ranks, with the side 23rd in League One.
Travers made his debut against Ipswich Town on Saturday, with Swindon taking all three points with a 3-2 win, ending a run of 6 games without a win.
It’s a good move if he plays, he’s simply got to play more games.
If he does go we need to sign a decent keeper with the intention of replacing Begovic. If we are promoted we’ll need the competition and Travers, whilst promising, can’t be relied upon as Premier League backup. If we don’t go up we’ll need to sell Begovic and there should be more suitors than last close season.
That said I don’t think there will be many signings for anyone this January given the uncertainty at the moment. – Join the conversation, click here.