Players Bournemouth should sign this summer
Updated: Jun 27
Ollie Jones - 27/6/23
Many thought Bournemouth would be preparing this summer for another year in the Championship, as it looked unlikely that they'd be able to retain their Premier League status after their promotion in 21/22, especially after their early season form and the subsequent sacking of Scott Parker. However, Gary O'Neil turned their fortunes around, impressively steering them to 15th. He has since been sacked and replaced with Andoni Iraola who will look to solidify Bournemouth as a Premier League side. Bournemouth were taken over in December of 2022 by Bill Foley, who didn't hesitate to splash out on new players, bringing Zabaryni and Semenyo, as well as Ouattara who joined from French side FC Lorient, a team also owned by Bill Foley. They've started the window strong by bringing in Justin Kluivert and here are some other transfers they should make to kick on next year.
Enzo Le Fée
This affiliation between FC Lorient and Bournemouth should be used once again to acquire the young, French talent that is Enzo Le Fée. At the age of 23 he is ready to take the next step in his career and a move to the Premier League and Bournemouth in particular, where he'd get regular game time, could be perfect. This season has been his best in terms of output, scoring 6 and assisting 6. However, this doesn't give the full picture, as he had an xA (expected assists) of 0.2 per 90, which ranks him in the top 93 percentile of midfielders in Europe's top 5 leagues. He has a great eye for a pass, being able to spot gaps in the channels, completing 6.48 progressive passes per 90. Despite being deployed in an attacking role, his defensive numbers are fantastic, completing 1.49 blocks and an astonishing 3.21 tackles per 90, which ranks him in the top 93 percentile for midfielders in the top 5 leagues, although in Ligue 1, is amazing when compared to the Prem's highest of 4.26 per 90 of Joao Palhinha. This would be a great fit for new manager Iraola's style of getting men behind the ball with a strong press. However his biggest asset is his dribbling, as he has a great ability one v one and with the ball at his feet, he's especially composed when his back is to the defender. He completed 2.02 successful take-ons per 90 and 2.85 progressive carries per 90 last season. His set-piece ability would also be a great asset to Bournemouth. Although not the finished article, he looks a very polished player who would be great in this Bournemouth side, and could be available for as little as £15 million.
After the loss of Jefferson Lerma to Crystal Palace, Bournemouth will be looking for a new midfielder and Musah could be a great replacement after reportedly being made available by Valencia for around £17 million. He would be great in the box-to-box or defensive midfielder role he's fulfilled for Valencia and USA. He was a standout performer for the US in the 2022 Qatar World Cup and had a solid season in La Liga. His numbers haven't grabbed the headlines, however, he's shown great potential that could be fulfilled at Bournemouth. His progressive stats suit the box-to-box role, as he completes 3.07 progressive carries per 90, as well as 1.15 successful take-ons. Despite often being deployed in a deeper role, he enjoys getting into the opposition penalty area, receiving 2.18 touches in that area per 90. His defensive output needs work so may not be a like-for-like replacement for Lerma, and persuading him to join Bournemouth may be hard due to their smaller status than other linked clubs like AC Milan, however, he did come through the Arsenal academy and he may favour a return to English soil and the opportunity to play in the Premier League, with Bournemouth being a potential destination.
A more defensive option for midfield is Leicester's Soumaré. He hasn't enjoyed the most successful time at Leicester since his move from Lille in 2021, playing only 59 times, starting 41 and then being relegated last season. However, he has shown glimpses of the player they bought this season, completing 3.15 tackles and 1.82 interceptions per 90 in the Premier League. He has also shown great passing accuracy, completing 86% of his 902 attempted passes. His offensive output has been poor, but this wasn't expected of him in his defensive position. Despite his rough patch at the Foxes, there is still a solid player there, that could flourish at Bournemouth. His reported high wage of £80,000 per week may deter the Cherries, however may also work in their favour, as Leicester may look to get him off their books at a discounted price now they're in the Championship. This means he could be available for as little as £10 million.
Bournemouth will be looking for a Jordan Zemura replacement as he departs for Udinese, and a possible replacement is Wolves' Ryan Giles. He has spent the last few seasons on loan in the Championship, at Cardiff, Blackburn and most recently, Middlesborough, where he has developed into a complete wing-back. Despite his fantastic development, he is unlikely to break into Wolves' first XI, and a permanant transfer to a club where he will be a consistent starter is needed at this stage of his career, as he is now 23 years of age. He was a crucial part of Middlesborough's promotion effort, as this season alone he provided 11 assists, in 45 games, which was actually under his xA of 13.4. He completed the most amount of crosses in the Championship, 445 in total and created 2.91 shot-creating actions per 90. His desire to get up the pitch was shown by him receiving 8.05 progressive passes per 90. He has solidified himself as one of the best full-backs in the Championship, and would therefore be able to make the step up into the Premier League with Bournemouth. He's valued at only £ 7 million and would therefore be a steal. He's also been linked with Leicester, however, Bournemouth can offer Premier League football this season, so would have more leverage to complete this deal.
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All data was sourced from FBref and Transfermarkt.