This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Bournemouth defender Steve Cook has caught the interest of Watford and QPR as the January transfer window edges ever closer, according to Football Insider.
Newcastle United are also in pursuit of the 30-year-old, with former Cherries boss Eddie Howe now at the helm at St James’ Park.
Cook has been restricted to just 236 minutes of Championship action this season, with the form of Lloyd Kelly and Gary Cahill keeping the vastly experienced defender out of the side.
Quiz: Can you name which club AFC Bournemouth sold these 26 players to?
The defender is closing in on 400 appearances for the Cherries but could depart before he could make that milestone.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts as to whether Bournemouth would be wise to let Cook leave…
That very much depends on the price, because Newcastle may be willing to pay over the odds to bring him in.
And in that case, with Gary Cahill and Lloyd Kelly the first-choice centre-backs with Chris Mepham available as another option, it may be worth cashing in on him.
However, as an experienced head in the dressing room who seems settled on the south coast and could be a great influence in their potential promotion push, the Cherries should be hesitant to cash in on him.
That would especially be the case if Scott Parker’s men revert to a three-at-the-back system at some point, because that depth at centre-back could be the difference between an automatic promotion spot and the play-offs.
So if an offer was to come in, it would be a torturous one to weigh up. But if the Magpies or another side fail to pay over the odds for his signature, he would be one to keep.
Steve Cook and Bournemouth have been associated for years now but it might for the best if the two parties go their separate ways in the winter window.
The Cherries and Scott Parker clearly don’t have too many plans for the experienced pro and it’s a shame to see him just sit on the sidelines and get no gametime whatsoever. If he was given the chance to leave, he could certainly benefit another EFL side elsewhere.
His experience and knowhow of the leagues could be of huge benefit to another side that did plan to utilise him more frequently. If the player is allowed to thrive at a different club, he may be getting into the latter stages of his career, but he could still offer plenty.
Bournemouth and Scott Parker also will want to add some fresh faces in the window to ensure they get a promotion. That could mean a need to clear out some players that aren’t wanted – and Cook would probably fit that bill now.
It’ll be a shame to see a Bournemouth hero leave the club but it is probably the right move for the both of them.
I think he’s earned the opportunity to leave the club in January and pick where he goes next.
Steve Cook has been a phenomenal servant to the Vitality Stadium outfit, having made nearly 400 appearances since his arrival in 2012 and helped them rise from League One to the Premier League.
The defender has been fantastic when called upon this season, with that performance against Fulham really remarkable given how little he’s played this term, but he doesn’t seem to be part of Scott Parker’s plans.
He’s out of contract anyway in the summer and it doesn’t seem as if he’ll get a new deal, so you feel they should let him leave on his own terms in January if he wants to.
In Mepham and Rossi they’ve got cover for Cahill and Kelly, so there’s no reason they should hold on just to make things difficult.
Cook should be allowed to leave and given a proper send off!