After finishing ninth in their second Premier League season, Bournemouth entered the 2017/18 campaign looking to improve on their highest ever top-flight finish.
Despite getting off to a rocky start, losing their first four games, the club finished the campaign strongly, rising to 12th place, 11 points above the drop zone. It is perhaps somewhat surprising that English football’s brightest young manager Eddie Howe is still at the club, but whilst he remains on the South coast, the Cherries must continue to consolidate themselves as a Premier League side.
The majority of the first-team squad remains unchanged from the one that rose up the Football League and is in desperate need of some fresh faces, though things have been quiet so far this summer in Bournemouth.
The only notable departure has been that of former Arsenal academy star Benik Afobe. The striker was signed permanently for £10 million by Wolves after being on-loan at the club last season, however Wolves sold the player to Stoke for £12 million just 11 days later.
Levante and Colombia star Jefferson Lerma has reportedly been subject of a £16 million bid from the Cherries, with the defensive midfielder having impressed since moving to La Liga, with reports suggesting the deal could rise to £19 million, and in turn becoming the club’s most expensive acquisition of this transfer window.
The club have also been linked with numerous forwards and are one of a number of sides interested in keeping Jay Rodriguez in the Premier League. West Brom are holding out for a bid in excess of £20 million after the player scored 11 in all competitions for them last season, and this may see Bournemouth turn their attention to other targets.
The club are interested in English frontmen Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Charlie Austin. Both have shown that they are capable of scoring goals in the top flight, but face competition at their current sides for game time. A move for either may be exactly what they need to push their way into the senior England set up.
The Cherries are also interested in a couple of players from North of the border – Celtic duo Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney. Talented left-back Tierney is seen as a long-term replacement for Charlie Daniels, though it would perhaps be somewhat surprising though to see him leave Celtic at the moment with many seeing him as a future Celtic captain.
After a disappointing first season at the club, Jermaine Defoe has been linked with a move away. West Ham have been linked with a move for the player and Steven Gerrard is also interested in signing the Premier League’s 7th highest goal-scorer for Rangers.
The players high wage demands may call off that move however. Harry Arter was also a previous target for West Ham and the player has admitted he was left disappointed after a January move to the London club failed to materialise. Jefferson Lerma’s move could see the Irish international leave after eight years at the club.
Written by Dan Blank.