AFC Bournemouth boss Scott Parker will be continuing his preparation ahead of the summer transfer window with plenty of positions to address if they are to remain afloat in the top tier for the long term.
They may have started the 2021/22 campaign in fine form – but there were vulnerabilities that appeared during the latter stages of the season and the Cherries’ manager will be looking to address these and add quality to avoid having a third relegation on his managerial CV.
Even without considering the south-coast side’s permanent players, there will be positions to target already with Freddie Woodman, Todd Cantwell, Nathaniel Phillips and Ethan Laird’s departures leaving a considerable void in their side.
Quiz: Can you name which club AFC Bournemouth sold these 23 players to from the last decade?
Although only Phillips out of the quartet made the impression they would have wanted to at the Vitality Stadium, the Cherries now find themselves short of options in some positions because of all of their departures.
With this need to address a lack of quality and depth, there is plenty for Parker to be doing in the early stages of the window in his potential quest to recruit players before the start of pre-season, something that will be a real challenge with the Premier League campaign starting earlier this normal this year.
Bearing this in mind, we take a look at two players who may arrive at the Vitality Stadium in the early stages of the upcoming window and one Bournemouth man who could leave.
In: Dean Henderson
According to The Sun, Manchester United would be willing to pay a chunk of Henderson’s wages if he was to go out on loan this summer, potentially tempting Bournemouth to make a formal offer for his services.
Ideally, they would want a new first-choice shot-stopper at the club shortly after the window opens to allow him to become accustomed to life on the south coast. Considering how crucial their keeper could be to their survival, that man having a full pre-season of football at the Vitality under his belt can only benefit him.
Mark Travers could potentially be that man – but they may want a more experienced shot-stopper and with former loanee Freddie Woodman returning to Newcastle United – they need to add another option in this position anyway.
Previously impressing in the top tier with Sheffield United, Henderson would be a great addition and with the chance of playing regular first-team football, this could be a move that suits all parties with fellow interested side Fulham thought to be closing in on Thomas Strakosha.
However, United will surely need to pay at least 50% of his wages if he is to have any chance of joining Parker’s side.
In: Joe Rothwell
Blackburn Rovers rejected multiple bids from the Cherries for Rothwell’s services back in January, a blow for the south-coast outfit who opted to bring in Todd Cantwell instead.
Despite this though, they are thought to have retained their interest in the 27-year-old and this is no surprise considering he recorded three goals and 10 assists in the second tier during 2021/22, almost guiding Tony Mowbray’s side to a top-six finish.
He is confirmed to be leaving Ewood Park on the expiration of his contract this summer and with this, he has the freedom to strike an agreement with another club, enabling the Cherries to bring him to the Vitality early.
However, they aren’t alone in this race with Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion also said to be monitoring his situation at this stage.
Only Parker’s side can offer him top-tier football at this stage – but Forest also have a chance of getting themselves back in the top flight later this month and this is why the former should be looking to get a deal over the line before the play-off final.
Out: Chris Mepham
According to Dorset Live’s Jacob Tanswell, Mepham is “likely” to seek a move away from the club this summer and this is no real surprise with Lloyd Kelly and Gary Cahill ahead of him in the pecking order.
Cahill’s future may be uncertain – but Parker will want to strengthen his defence in the coming months. They have already been linked with Chelsea’s Levi Colwill and may want to strike another agreement for Liverpool’s Nathaniel Phillips as well.
Ahead of the 2022 World Cup, with Wales one game away from reaching the competition, centre-back Mepham will want to get as much playing time under his belt as possible.
He won’t be a regular starter at the Vitality and with his side needing to abide by financial fair play rules, the promoted side may decide this is the right time to cash in on the 24-year-old.
And he may move in as soon as next month if an interested side can match the Cherries’ valuation of the defender.