Following on from the capture of free agent Jack Wilshere on a short-term contract, AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall has now made his second permanent signing with the addition of Preston North End midfielder Ben Pearson.
A creative central midfielder followed by a defensive central midfielder, it is clear to see where the Cherries hierarchy have decided needs immediate improvement.
The 26-year-old was set to see his contract at Deepdale expire at the end of the 2020/21 campaign and so not to see him depart on a free transfer, Preston North End have agreed on a nominal transfer fee with AFC Bournemouth, with Pearson agreeing to a three-and-a-half-year deal at Dean Court. All according to BBC Radio Solent journalist Kris Temple.
The deal was announced on Friday, but Pearson was not available for the 3-1 defeat to Reading.
He could be set to make his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night.
🍒 3 and a half year deal for Pearson, through to summer 2024. Takes the number 22 shirt. #afcb
— Kris Temple (@kristemple) January 29, 2021
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) January 29, 2021
Arrival day in pictures 📸
Here's the best images as Ben Pearson signed for the Cherries ❤️🖤#afcb 🍒
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) January 29, 2021
Pearson told afcb.co.uk following the announcement…
“As soon as I heard of Bournemouth’s interest I wanted to come here, It is a good club with big ambitions to get back into the Premier League, which is somewhere I want to be as well, so we have the same aim.
“The Championship is a difficult league but I’m experienced here and know what it’s about. I felt like I was ready for a new challenge and now it’s here I’m really looking forward to starting training and getting to know my new team mates.”
AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said…
“There were a number of clubs trying to sign Ben, so I am delighted he has chosen Bournemouth for the next stage of his career.
“Over the past four years, Ben has proved himself to be an outstanding midfielder at this level and we believe this club is the right place for him to develop and continue to improve under our manager Jason Tindall and his coaching staff.
“Ben has a range of attributes which will complement those of our existing midfielders and he is an exciting signing who will prove a big asset to our promotion push.”
Ben Pearson signing?
Not what we need
Pearson joined Preston North End in January 2016 after coming through the youth team set-up at Manchester United where he had not made a single appearance in all competitions.
Prior to his move to Preston he had two loan spells with Barnsley from 8th January 2015 until 3rd January 2016, covering the second half of the 2014/15 season making 22 appearances and the first half of the 2015/16 season making 23 appearances, before joining Preston for an undisclosed fee.
In five years at Preston, Pearson has made 165 appearances including 153 Championship starts.
He’s the type of player that opposition supporters often hate to watch, in fact, his own mother doesn’t like watching him play due to his disciplinary record for Preston North End.
In July 2019 he told BBC Radio Lancashire…
“My mum is my worst critic when it comes to my discipline. She hates it and won’t come to games anymore because of it,”
“The past two or three years, it’s been difficult for her seeing me get sent off and yellow carded.
This followed the 2018/19 campaign which saw Pearson collect 14 yellow cards and sent off three times, meaning he missed 13 games through suspension.
The previous two seasons saw him collect 28 yellow cards and 1 red card in 66 appearances.
However, his disciplinary record has subsequently improved since his ticking off from his Mum. In the 47 appearances that followed the above comments, Pearson has been carded just 10 times and hasn’t been sent off at all. His whoscored.com average rating has slightly dipped over those seasons, however, so taking some of the bite out of his play as maybe affected his performances?
(Advisory note – Bad language included in the video)
We need somebody to compete with Lewis Cook for the Central Defensive Midfield role…I don’t want to hear any of this “give cookie license to go forward” balderdash
Has never been an advanced midfielder and never will be. Best traits are his tackling and passing from deep- not nabbing goals and assists. Has literally been in the form of his Cherries life sitting in front of the back 4. It’s not broke and doesn’t need fixing!
The way I see it we would have a good mix of options in the middle now:
CDM: L. Cook, Pearson, Kilkenny (seems to be playing the Cook role in the cup)
Box to Box: Lerma, Billing, Gosling
Advanced: Wilshere, Brooks
We have on paper arguably the best 11 in the league, but we lack squad depth. These signings have given us loads of options now. Really no excuse not to be challenging for the title in my opinion. – Join the conversation, click here.