2015/16 season preview: Bournemouth

AFC_Bournemouth_(2013).svgAfter an incredible rise through the leagues, Bournemouth will be playing against the top clubs this season after securing promotion from the Championship. Many are expecting a tough season for the Cherries, but can they upset the odds?

Manager: Eddie Howe
Home ground: Dean Court
Last season: 1st in Championship
Highest EPL accolade: This is Bournemouth’s first season in the Premier League

Star Man

Matt Ritchie scored 15 goals for the Cherries last season image: footballleagueworld.co.uk

Matt Ritchie scored 15 goals for the Cherries last season
image: footballleagueworld.co.uk

Bournemouth stunned everyone last season when they clinched an incredible promotion to the top-flight and one man at the heart of it all was Scottish winger Matt Ritchie.

The 25-year-old bagged played in every single Championship for the club last season, scoring 15 goals and assisting in 17. His incredible form saw him earn his first call-up into the Scotland squad and was voted the Football league’s best player of the season.

He is without a doubt Bournemouth’s key player and fans will be hoping that Ritchie can continue his fine form as he makes the step into the Premier League. The Cherries need a hero to survive this season and Ritchie could become that man.

Key Transfers

IN
Tyrone Mings (Ipswich – £8m), Sylvain Distin (Everton – Free), Artur Boruc (Southampton – Free), Adam Federici (Reading – Free), Joshua King (Blackburn – Free), Christian Atsu (Chelsea – Season loan), Filippo Costa (Chievo – Season loan), Max Gradel (St.Etienne – Undisclosed), Lee Tomlin (Middlesbrough – £3m)

OUT
Brett Pitman (Ipswich – Undisclosed), Ryan Fraser (Ipswich – Season loan), Josh McQuoid (Luton – Free), Ian Harte, Mohamed Coulibaly, Miles Addison, Darryl Flahavan (all released)

One to Watch

After 20 goals in his debut season at Dean Court, Callum Wilson was an integral part that helped secure Bournemouth’s passage to the top-flight, but now all eyes will be on the striker to see if he can take the next step and become a force in the Premier League.

Callum Wilson scored 45 goals in his last two seasons image: bbc.co.uk

Callum Wilson scored 45 goals in his last two seasons
image: bbc.co.uk

Wilson signed from Coventry for £3m last summer after 21 goals for the Sky Blues in the 2013-14 campaign and proved to be worth every penny for the Cherries with 23 goals in all competitions.

The question now is does Callum Wilson have what it takes to take the next step? Rickie Lambert and Charlie Austin proved that they can play with the best, so can Wilson follow in their footsteps and become England’s next breakout striker.

Best XI

Boruc

Francis   Elphick   Distin   Mings

Surman   Arter

Ritchie     Kermogant      Atsu

Wilson

Prediction: 20th

I expect Bournemouth to give this league a right go but at the end of the day, their squad just doesn’t have enough quality compared to the others to survive in this league. They will show great heart but that won’t be enough.

Bournemouth were crowned champions on the final day of last season image: youtube.com

Bournemouth were crowned champions on the final day of last season
image: youtube.com

A small part of me though has a feeling that Bournemouth could be the surprise package of the season, like a Stoke or a Swansea but they need a few more experienced Premier League players to achieve that. They have some young up-and-coming stars, but can they make the leap to the next level.

Eddie Howe deserves all the credit for the Cherries incredible rise and Bournemouth’s success of last year can be compared to that of Burnley’s journey over the past few years. Like Burnley, I expect the Cherries to have a right go at it and some day, heart and passion will win over quality but in the end, it won’t be enough.

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