Newly-appointed AFC Bournemouth manager Scott Parker has said free agents Adam Smith and Junior Stanislas could both be ‘options’ for the Cherries next season, in an interview with the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
Smith, 30, and Stanislas, 31, officially left the club at the end of last month after seeing their contracts expire on the south coast.
According to a club statement in May, both were in negotiations with the Championship side over a new deal but with Jonathan Woodgate leaving, it was unclear whether the new manager would want to want to see them stay.
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31-year-old Stanislas has been at Bournemouth since 2014, making 166 appearances for the Cherries including 36 last season and was seen as a key part of their squad as they looked to get back to the Premier League.
Versatile right-back Smith was also an integral first-teamer at the Vitality, joining the club in 2014 along with his former teammate and appearing for Bournemouth 41 times in the Championship last term.
Although it previously looked like they were on their way out, Parker has opened the door for the experienced pair to come back and has delivered a promising update for Cherries fans who want to see them return.
Speaking to the Bournemouth Daily Echo about the current situation, he said: “I am hoping they are options, of course, I am hoping they are options.
“We are speaking to those players to see if that’s viable, of course, while also understanding that if not, we have our eyes on elsewhere as well, not being left behind in that.
“I think it’s key that this football club moves forward and I think the change in management and staff help do that.
“Certainly on the football field as well that’s the case – but there’s no people here because they are familiar with it. We need good quality people.
“People around it, of course, if they come with the experience, nous and the knowhow of what this club’s about – of course it helps.
“But what’s fundamental, what’s the most important thing for me is they bring quality, they bring something which can make us successful.
“If that is the case then perfect for them guys. If it could work then that’d be good.”
With the club suffering play-off disappointment last season against Brentford, it would probably be wise to have the experienced pair as options again next season if they want to continue pushing for a spot in the Premier League.
Although some changes should be made to freshen up the squad ahead of another promotion push, constants like Smith and Stanislas can help to welcome new signings, give Parker pointers on certain players they already know well and become leaders in the dressing room if times become tough at any point during the campaign.
Despite having a promotion on his managerial CV, Parker is still a reasonably young manager so this makes having the more experienced players even more vital as the 2021/22 season approaches.
Two-year deals for both would probably be ideal for both considering their age and how much they still have to give – but Bournemouth need to get these contract extensions over the line first before they can include them in their preparations for next year.