Evaluating Bournemouth’s New Arrivals
Posted by Kieran Cross | Published on September 1, 2016
After finishing just outside of the relegation zone last season everybody knew that Bournemouth needed to improve their squad drastically in order to survive what promises to be a brutal relegation battle. However, at the end of a busy transfer window have Bournemouth been successful in sufficiently strengthening their squad? Here, I evaluate the signings made in the summer transfer window, including arguably the biggest shock of the whole window.
Jordan Ibe-7.5/10: Fairly early in the transfer window, the Cherries smashed their transfer record in order to land the highly rated winger from Liverpool in order to replace the fan-favourite Ritchie who departed to the Championship to play for Newcastle. Although the move raised some questions, Ibe offers pace and directness that Ritchie failed to supply at times during last season, which saw him fall down the pecking order. Although Ibe has struggled slightly to adapt to Bournemouth’s style, he has shown glimpses of the talent which made him popular at Liverpool. Jordan is also younger than Ritchie, giving him plenty of time to develop, although his price tag needs to be justified sooner rather than later.
Lewis Cook-9/10: It is no secret that Bournemouth fought off stiff competition from several other Premier League teams in order to land the highly rated midfielder from Leeds. The midfield technician has taken little time to learn the “Bournemouth way” and has already shown that he is able to hold his own against more established Premier League players. With exceptional close control and an eye for a pass, Cook provides something that Bournemouth seemed to lack last season in terms of creativity in midfield. A very exciting signing which has upset many Leeds fans, which is always a positive.
Lys Mousset-6/10: Signed from AC Le Havre who have produced stars such as Dimitri Payet, the French forward has struggled to get much game time in a Bournemouth squad with considerable quality in the contingent of young forwards at Bournemouth’s disposal. However, from what we have seen of him in the pre-season, he appears to be exceptionally talented, with considerable pace and exceptional dribbling. With some more game time, the young forward could develop into a real star of the future.
Brad Smith-6/10: Smith is obviously a decent defender, which is shown by the increasing amount of game time he was getting in cup competitions for Liverpool last season. However, he was never able to really hold down a starting place at Liverpool, so a move to a lower down Premier League team makes a lot of sense. We haven’t seen a lot of Smith at Bournemouth due to the excellence of Charlie Daniels, but Smith’s versatility means that he could possibly cover at center back if called upon. An average signing, but provides much needed cover in what has been a leaky defence.
Marc Wilson-6/10: Wilson was signed primarily to provide much needed Premier League experience in a young and somewhat inexperienced team. Although the signing may seem initially uninspired, this experience may prove vital in the coming relegation dogfight. Wilson may not get much game time but will have a role similar to the role played by Distin last season: providing cover for the starting center backs. Overall, not the most exciting signing but a much needed one.
Emerson Hyndman-?/10: Highly rated at Fulham, the midfielder has struggled to get game time due to an injury picked up in pre-season. For this reason it is hard to give him a rating, but Fulham fans seemed to be disappointed by his departure, so there is reason to believe that he could be a good signing for the future.
Nathan Ake-7/10: Arguably one of the brightest defensive talents in the league, it was somewhat surprising that he made something of a sideways step from being on loan at Watford to being on loan at Bournemouth. However, this is a pleasant surprise for Bournemouth fans, as Ake’s versatility means that he can cover in a huge range of primarily defensive positions. At the start of the window this defensive cover was a huge priority for a team with a poor defensive record. Therefore, this signing could prove to be very useful.
Jack Wilshere-10/10: If you told me at the start of the window that Bournemouth were going to sign Jack Wilshere on loan I would have initially laughed at you before looking into getting you sectioned. In undoubtedly one of the most shocking moves of the season, the England international chose a move to Bournemouth over Crystal Palace, Roma and AC Milan amongst others. Wilshere is undoubtedly one of the best players that England has to offer and could be the missing piece to the Bournemouth puzzle. If he can avoid injury for a prolonged period of time, this move could do a lot of good for both England and Bournemouth as well as allowing Wilshere to develop into the world class midfielder that he has the potential to become.
Overall-8/10: Most Bournemouth fans will be pleasantly surprised by the moves made by the club. The fact that players such as Cook and Wilshere chose the Cherries over other clubs in the Premier League as well as abroad shows that Bournemouth’s ability to attract quality players as well as stars of the future is growing, no doubt due to the growing reputation of Eddie Howe, arguably the most promising young English manager in the country. However, the window was far from perfect and many fans are grumbling that we failed to bring in a top class center back, although the introduction of Smith, Wilson and Ake provide adequate cover in defence. Overall, a very solid transfer window including one of the biggest shocks of the year with the arrival of Wilshere.