AFC Bournemouth are well on their way to making a return to the Premier League at the second attempt this season.
Currently sitting second in the Sky Bet Championship standings, the Cherries have shown a great deal of mental toughness to stay unbeaten for so long before experiencing a more turbulent spell of late.
However despite their recent shortcomings, the South Coast club certainly have the players required to achieve their overall goal this term and will have been encouraged by how the team has performed as a collective under the guidance of Scott Parker so far.
As a result of this, the Cherries are set to enter the new year in a very commanding position as they aim to take the fight to their promotion rivals in 2022.
Quiz: What club do these 20 ex-AFC Bournemouth strikers play for now?
Here, we take you through our top FIVE best Bournemouth players from 2021 as the year begins to draw to a close…
5: Gary Cahill
Having signed on a free transfer following his release by Crystal Palace last summer, many didn’t know what to make of the addition of Cahill by the Cherries at first.
However the veteran defender has proved to have been an inspired signing by Parker, with his leadership skills shining through since his arrival.
Having formed a great partnership at the heart of the defence with Lloyd Kelly, the former Chelsea and England centre back continues to show that he is good enough to ply his trade in the second tier.
Therefore he couldn’t be overlooked as part of our top five.
4: Jaidon Anthony
A young player who still very much has the world at his feet, Anthony has become a key part of this current Bournemouth side under Parker.
Largely playing on the left hand side, the 22-year-old already has six goals and four assists to his name in the league this season and is only likely to improve.
His form also underlines the faith that the club have put in younger players this term as they aim to build a future around their academy.
If Anthony can continue to perform well, there is likely to be interest in his services from higher league clubs.
3: Lloyd Kelly
A centre back who has been linked with the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle United in more recent times, Kelly is fully deserving of a place in top three of the list.
Having taken on extra responsibility as a stand in captain for Steve Cook, the signing from Bristol City has shown a maturity to his game that perhaps wasn’t seen in previous years.
Add to the fact that he is also brilliant in possession of the ball at his feet and it is understandable that Premier League sides are taking a serious look at him.
Holding onto him during January will be key to the club’s promotion hopes.
2: Philip Billing
A player who could arguably be playing a lot higher up the leagues than the Championship, Billing has shown some of the best form of his career this season.
Boasting a current record of seven goals and four assists from central midfield, the Dane is showing exactly why the club played a substantial sum for his services to Huddersfield Town back in 2019.
His influence on the team continues to grow and it appears likely that he will depart for a bigger club if the Cherries do not achieve promotion this term.
Billing has and will take Bournemouth to new heights, so therefore it was impossible to leave him out of this list.
1: Dominic Solanke
One of the most consistent performers in the squad at present, Solanke was the only name that could really be top of this list at present.
With 16 goals in 23 league games this season, the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker has already achieved the best goal scoring return of his career to date.
Arguably a player who has failed to showcase his ability in the top flight so far, Solanke has clearly found his level for the time being and will be key to the club achieving their overall goal of promotion.
The frontman has already proved that he is one of the division’s most deadly marksmen and is sure to only continue to get better at the age of 24.