AFC BOURNEMOUTH: New goalkeeper – tick, new striker – tick, new defender?

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When it comes to summer transfer business Eddie Howe is not usually a man to wait around. He likes to get his business done early.

But, not much has been happening in the last few weeks, well at least not on the surface. Asmir Begovic and Jermain Defoe (who has still to officially sign) are the only additions to squad, and undoubtedly great additions they are.

“And there is Lewis Cook who is certain to be a regular starter in the 2017/18 season and Emerson Hyndman waiting in the wings

So, that’s a goalkeeper and a striker. So, now we have two decent keepers and a trio of top class strikers in Defoe, King and Wilson with Afobe and Moussett waiting in the wings. Midfield is one of our strongest and best equipped areas of the pitch. Arter, Surman and Gosling are now well-versed in the challenges of the Premier League. And there is Lewis Cook who is certain to be a regular starter in the 2017/18 season, and Emerson Hyndman waiting in the wings for his chance. Should he go out on loan again? We think so, but with a 24-hour recall just in case.

Left and right we have Stanislas, Fraser, Pugh, Gradel and Ibe. That’s five players for two positions, but Gradel looks set to go (though he is still here) and Ibe is still yet to fulfill his promise. So at least one new winger should be on the cards. Will it be Ryan Kent? Seems not at the moment.

JORDON IBE – WING WIZARD?

We’ll keep this short, Jordon Ibe hasn’t made quite the impression many Cherries fans might have been hoping for. He has a lot of talent but currently very little end product. And, if there is ever a man to help him improve, it’s Eddie Howe. He is still only 21 years old and it has taken him time to adjust, but 2017/18 will be the season that he breaks free and shows how talented he really is. He should take a look at Ryan Fraser as his inspiration. And, if he can get anywhere near Fraser’s marked improvement we will be in for a treat.

ATTACK IS THE BEST FORM OF DEFENCE, SURELY

It’s no secret that AFC Bournemouth are prone to letting in a few goals. Surely that is the nature of the attacking game they play you say. The style of play may well play a part in the goals conceded, but the defence is steady rather than spectacular and is the area that needs addressing the most. Steve Cook is the key defender and in our opinion easily our best defender, plus at 27 he is coming into his prime. Central defensive partner Simon Francis is no donkey, but he will be 33 this season and is not as steadfast and sure as Cook. A strong defensive addition is a must. Tyrone Mings and Baily Cargill are two players who can step in and do a job, but we only need a few injuries and our central defence is starting to look shaky. Plus, Mings favoured position in on the left, Charlie Daniels heir apparent.

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We would have loved to have seen Harry Maguire step into the Cherries central defence, but he has already gone to Leicester. The obvious candidate for the position is Nathan Ake. Chelsea took him back and gave him a couple of games, but he spent most of his time on the bench. Surely Eddie has been on the charm offensive with Mr Conte. Let’s hope it works. If not Ben Gibson is another seen as a good defensive option. He get called up for England ahead of Cook, so he must be good, but do we want to pay £20m for him. Chris Smalling is another that looks like he might be on the move and at £10m looks a bargain. Not sure he would want to step down from United to AFCB though. How about Johnny Evans? Another decent defender with plenty of Premier League experience.

We haven’t forgotten Rhoys Wiggins, but after his injury will he come back the player he once was. Who cares, sell him now and never let me see his face on afcb.co.uk every again.

There is no doubt we need a new defender and the longer Eddie Howe waits the less chance he has of getting the man he wants. If he is any good we won’t be the only club wanting them. And, the longer we wait the harder it will be to integrate into the team. In Eddie we trust, so conversely is he going lastminute.com and getting the man he wants at the price he wants. Whatever path he is taking we think if he doesn’t get a new defender he will live to regret it.

Tales From The South End

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