Premier League 2016/17 Preview – Bournemouth

Ibe

Jordon Ibe arrives at Bournemouth as their record signing. Image: Mirror.co.uk

Given their injury crisis last season, Eddie Howe’s side did incredibly well to finish 16th. The aim for this season has to be to consolidate their position as a Premier League side and to push on after last season’s success. A fully fit Max Gradel and Tyrone Mings will make a huge difference for the Cherries, as their marquee signings from last summer will look to prove themselves after an injury hit first season. Gradel and new signing Jordon Ibe will have to hit the ground running after the departure of Matt Ritchie to Newcastle. Bournemouth’s defence was their downfall last year, so Liverpool’s Brad Smith has been brought in, whilst highly rated Lewis Cook will sit in front of the back four. October will be a key month for Bournemouth as they face Watford, Hull and Middlesbrough, who will all be aiming to avoid relegation this season.

Key Man: Jordon Ibe. Coming in as Bournemouth’s record signing at over £15m, Ibe will be expected to hit the ground running. Matt Richie’s departure will be sorely felt by the Cherries, but the former Liverpool winger could ease the pain if he delivers on his obvious potential. Ibe has delivered two goals in pre-season for his new club, including the winner against Cardiff, so the early signs are promising.

One to Watch: Lewis Cook. Winner of last season’s Football League Young Player of the Year, Cook’s performances for Leeds have earned him a move to the Premier League. The 19 year old has two seasons of Championship football already under his belt, and could prove the anchor needed to protect one of the league’s more fragile defences.

Last Season: 16th  

Prediction: 15th

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