Written by Ben Oliver
After an impressive first ever season in the Premier League for AFC Bournemouth, Eddie Howe will be looking to improve his squad for the 2016/17 Premier League Campaign. The Bournemouth manager has already been busy in the transfer window, having signed Nathan Ake, Lys Mousset, Lewis Cook, Emerson Hyndman and Jordon Ibe. Although it was a very successful season for the Cherries, there are areas where Eddie Howe will be looking to improve in order to avoid second season syndrome. One position that Bournemouth should look to improve is in the centre of defence. They conceded 67 goals in the 2015/16 season, which was the joint 2nd most of all 20 teams. Their vulnerability in defence improved during the middle of the season when right back, Simon Francis, deputised for the injured Bournemouth Captain, Tommy Elphick in the centre of their defence. Francis’ power and athleticism was vital for Bournemouth, with many Bournemouth fans hopeful for him to continue as a centre back. However, with Tommy Elphick and Sylvain Distin both having left Dean Court, Eddie Howe will be looking to bring in at least one new centre back to tighten their defence up.
Here are three centre backs Eddie Howe could look to sign for the 2016/17 season:
Timm Klose- 28 Years Old
The first centre back the Cherries could look to sign is the Swiss International Timm Klose. Norwich City signed Klose from Wolfsburg in the January transfer window in order to boost their survival chances and the defender performed superbly in the games he played for the Canaries, even leading to a nomination for PFA Fans’ Player of the Month in March. However, an injury in the first half against Crystal Palace ended his season, meaning he missed the last 5 games, which proved costly to Norwich’s survival hopes.
Timm Klose’s physical attributes and experience is exactly what Bournemouth need in order to tighten up their defence and help to ensure they decrease their goals conceded tally for the coming season. His Aerial dominance is something that the Bournemouth defence is missing and therefore he could be the ideal signing for the Cherries.
Norwich signed Klose for around £7.6 million and with them having been relegated, you would have thought that he would be available for a similar amount. However, with the transfer fees going the way they are this window, it is likely that the Canaries would want over £10 million for the defender.
Lewis Dunk- 24 Years Old
Another centre back that Bournemouth may look to sign is Lewis Dunk from Brighton and Hove Albion. The 24 Year Old is one of the highest rated defenders in the 2nd tier of English football and has been linked with many clubs in the Premier League. It is reported that Premier League champions Leicester City are among the clubs interested in the Brighton man. Everton and Crystal Palace are also said to be interested.
Lewis Dunk, like Klose, has the physical attributes to improve the Bournemouth defence. As well as this, he has the ability to play out from the back, which is a key attribute that Eddie Howe looks for in his centre backs. However, one issue for Premier Clubs looking to sign Dunk is that he has no Premier League experience, having spent his whole career at Brighton with only a short loan at Bristol City back in 2013. His lack of Premier League experience means that any club wanting to acquire his services this summer, will be taking a gamble in hope that he can make the step up.
Nonetheless, Eddie Howe is well known for his improving players, with many of his squad from last season also being part of their League 1 squad in 2013. Therefore, the prospect of working with Howe may interest Dunk and many may see Bournemouth as the ideal destination for the Brighton centre back.
credit Jon Candy
Rob Holding- 20 Years Old
The third centre back that Bournemouth could look to sign is the Bolton Wanderers youngster Rob Holding. This would be seen as more of a risk than the previous centre backs mentioned, however Holding is a defender that many believe can go onto big things.
Most football fans in England will be aware of the plight of Bolton Wanderers over the last few seasons. Despite this, Rob Holding has come up through the ranks to become a first team starter and even notched himself the Bolton’s Player of the Year award for the 2015/16 season. He has all of the attributes to become an exceptional defender, with many likening him to Gary Cahill and also John Stones. Eddie Howe likes his centre backs to be good on the ball as Bournemouth tend to play from the back, so Holding’s composure on the ball will definitely be an attribute that Eddie Howe will like the look of.
Holding is subject to a lot of interest from teams amongst both the Championship and also the Premier League. Similar to Lewis Dunk, the main question is whether Holding will be able to make the step up to the Premier League. However, he is only 20 years of age and therefore has a lot of time to learn and improve in order to become a Premier League quality defender. Howe’s signings so far this summer have all been under the age of 22, showing that he is looking to bring in young players that he will be able to try and improve and if that trend of signings continues then Rob Holding could be the exact sort of player Eddie Howe will be looking to add to his squad.
Which centre back out of the three mentioned do you believe would be the best signing for AFC Bournemouth? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by London’s Photostream