Bournemouth have become an established Premier League outfit in recent years. Highly-rated head coach Eddie Howe has done an excellent job getting the Cherries into the top-flight and keeping them there. However, it is hard for the south coast club, who are still a small club by Premier League standards, but who are ambitious to progress.
Howe loves attacking football
During his playing career, Howe was a centre-back. His football philosophy is far from defensive, though. He likes to play attacking football, possession-based football. In fact, at times his teams attacking style can leave the Cherries vulnerable at the back. This style of play must both excite and terrify Bournemouth fans in equal measure.
The key fact is that they tend to score enough goals to maintain a midtable position. The likes of England international Callum Wilson and Scottish winger Ryan Fraser were outstanding going forward last season.
The latter will be particularly keen to continue his good form next season, as he is out of contract next season. The former Aberdeen star has already been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer. However, it as if the winger is staying on the south coast, at least until next summer.
Cherries concentrating on recruiting youngsters
Bournemouth seems to have concentrated their summer recruitment on signings relative youngsters. The Cherries have brought in midfielder Phillip Billings from Huddersfield, Arnaut Danjuma from Club Brugge, with Jack Stacey arriving from Luton and Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City.
All four signings are 23 or under, so Howe is obviously building a team towards the future. Three of the four players are unknown quantities in the top-flight, while Billings spent last season in the Premier League with the Terriers last season.
The signings are the sort that the Cherries have to make. They are young players who can develop and improve. The club from the south coast cannot afford to spend big and sign the best players. That means they have to take chances on lesser-known players.
The likes Kelly and Tracey have earned reputations as promising younger players in the lower leagues. They may take time to adapt to the Premier League.
The Cherries have a net spend of just £15million this summer after Tyrone Mings and Lyn Mousset joined Aston Villa and Sheffield United respectively. Television revenue for the season will no doubt absorb Bournemouth transfer outlay.
Bournemouth will struggle to push on
The problem that Bournemouth have is that they are inbetweeners. The Cherries are unlikely to suffer relegation, but they are also unlikely to qualify for Europe in the near future.
They are not quite as good as the likes of Everton, Leicester and Wolves, even West Ham. However, they have better players than a number of teams around them in the league. The Cherries highest finish in their four seasons in the top-flight is ninth-place back in 2017.
It will be very difficult for Howe’s team to match that position considering the strengths of the teams who finished above them. Eddie Howe has done a good job at Bournemouth. However, maybe success for the Cherries is just maintaining a position somewhere near the middle of the top-flight table.
Can Bournemouth push on next season?