With AFC Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly back from injury and the form of veteran centre-back Gary Cahill, Cherries captain Steve Cook’s chances of regular football once again, look limited.
The 30-year-old, who this season is celebrating ten years at Dean Court, didn’t feature for the Cherries in the Championship until late November and that was only because of the absence of both the aforementioned defensive centre-back pairing.
He played against Coventry City and Fulham, putting in a man of the match performance against the league leaders, before starting against Blackburn Rovers on 11th December, being subbed off just after the hour mark. His two week foray back in the side seemingly over.
With his contract at Dean Court expiring at the end of the current 2021/22 campaign, speculation regarding his future has been rife all season.Will Cook add to his 388 appearances in all competitions for AFC Bournemouth?
Radio Solent commentator Kris Temple has reported that AFC Bournemouth want Steve Cook to remain until the end of the season, but are not looking to offer him a contract extension.
• 🍒 #AFCB will not be selling any key players during the January window. The likes of Lloyd Kelly, Dom Solanke etc will be staying. It would take silly, absurd money (£50m+) to make #AFCB even answer the phone.
— Kris Temple (@kristemple) December 20, 2021
Tabloid newspaper The Sun have linked Cook with a move to Newcastle, to be reunited with former manager Eddie Howe, whilst the Daily Echo have linked Championship side Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United’s Premier League relegation rivals Watford.
AFC Bournemouth head coach Scott Parker was asked by the Daily Echo if there was a chance Cook could depart. He said…
“…There could be a chance.
“Steve’s contract is up at the end of the season as well. I am sure Steve would be the first to say during this first half of the season he would have liked to have played more than what he has.
“But like I always say, I respect Steve, I have a rich respect for him – his quality, his professionalism.
“Come the end of January, he’s someone I’d want still to be here.
“But I also respect Steve’s situation. He is someone who has given incredible service to this football club.
“However that pans out in January, I’m not sure, I don’t know how that could be, so we will have to hear what Steve says, how he feels, and then as a football club where we stand on it as well…”
Much as I love Cookie, those latter couple of years in the Premier League did really start to catch up with him. His warrior attitude does more at this level. Would like him to stay if at all possible, but if he does move another Champ club is his level (although we wouldn’t want to strengthen a league table rival). – Join the conversation, click here.