What Relegation Could Mean for Bournemouth's Star Players

Bournemouth Featured

Callum Wilson

A Bournemouth icon that has spent six years at the club, scoring 67 goals for them in all competitions and the Englishman has been a key part in the club's most successful period in history.

Earlier in the season, the striker was linked with moves to Manchester United and Chelsea, and he will no doubt be on the lookout for joining another Premier League side for many reasons, should his side go down.

Having only found the net seven times in 31 league appearances so far this campaign, it is difficult to imagine him making an impact at a club that competes for the top places in the league, and the mid-table range seems to be his area of expertise.

Instead of most likely being used to warm the bench at a bigger club, he might be better suited to moving for a club like Newcastle. The Magpies' record £40m signing of Joelinton last year has failed to work out and so a player of Wilson's quality and experience would be appreciated more at a club like Newcastle.

Wilson is also a fully-fledged England international with four appearances which include a goal on his debut against the United States of America. Now, with Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham the only two recognised out-and-out centre forwards for England, Wilson certainly has an international future ahead of him, if he plays his cards right.

For this reason in itself, it's tough to see how the 28-year-old doesn't force a move away from the Vitality Stadium very soon.

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Nathan Ake

Since his arrival at Bournemouth in 2016, Nathan Ake has been one of the reasons the club has had a prolonged stay in the Premier League.

The Dutch defender has been a rock at the back for multiple seasons and for just £20m, Eddie Howe secured one of the deals of the decade for a club of such a stature.

This season, Ake has had a few spells out with injury and has missed eight league games so far and Howe will also be without his best defender for the all-important game against Everton on Sunday. The club's record in games without him this season has been abysmal, having lost six of those eight games and he will leave a huge hole in their defence, should he move on.

Rumours have been circulating recently that Manchester City are interested in purchasing the Dutch international for a potential fee of £35m. The likes of United and former club Chelsea are also reported to be looking at reeling him in.

Regardless, it will be nothing short of miraculous if Bournemouth manage to keep hold of Ake, as it really does look as if he is too good for the second tier. The versatile defender is now priced at a low 1/6 to join City, and 12/1 to join either Chelsea or United.

Ryan Fraser

Fraser has already admitted he won't play for the club again and he has been absent in every squad since the restart as he looks to force a move away in an injury-free state.

The likes of Everton and Arsenal are reportedly seeking his signature and there is no doubt that the Scot will be moving on within the next few weeks - read all the Fraser next club odds here.

Joshua King

It's been a difficult campaign for Joshua King. The lack of goals because of a persistent hamstring injury has been a contributing factor in a season of struggle for Bournemouth and the reason the Cherries have been so poor, is because King hasn't been as active.

However, the five goals he has scored have come in important matches and without his contributions, Bournemouth could be six points worse off and would, therefore, be down already.

Back on the January transfer deadline day, it was rumoured that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted King to return to United but the move fell through with Solskjaer opting for Odion Ighalo on loan instead.

Considering that Ighalo's move to Old Trafford is a loan deal, there is a possibility that United could make a fresh approach for King in the summer. However, with the growth of Mason Greenwood and the desire to obtain Jadon Sancho, it seems as if the Norwegian has missed his chance.

No doubt that at 28 years of age and with a proven pedigree in the top-flight, King won't be short of options and alongside Ake, he will, without question, depart at the first opportunity.

Philip Billing

It was just last summer that Philip Billing was one of the Premier League's hot prospects looking to leave Huddersfield Town following their relegation back to the Championship. Now, with Bournemouth close to doing the same, the Denmark international is perhaps looking to move on again to try and stay in the top-flight.

Still only 24 and a regular for the Cherries this season, Billing won't be short of options if he looks to move on this summer. Certain clubs just above the drop zone this season will surely keep tabs on him and if the price is right, expect this transfer to happen.

For example, West Ham United could find themselves without Declan Rice as he nears a return to Chelsea, whilst Mark Noble is not getting any younger at 33 years of age. Elsewhere, Everton's injury troubles with Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin will worry Carlo Ancelotti and perhaps force his hand in the window.

Ultimately, following Huddersfield's drop back into the Championship, Billing left within just a few weeks. We should all expect the same down at Bournemouth.

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David Brooks

Whilst the likes of Ake, King and Wilson are experienced Premier League players with much to show for, David Brooks has only made 37 appearances in the division, including just the seven this season.

However, the 23-year-old is already a regular for Wales and has 12 caps for his country, scoring once against Croatia in a Euro 2020 qualifier.

Now, similar to Wilson, if Brooks wants to see his international career continue, no doubt he will be looking to move on, should Bournemouth face relegation.

United have already been reported to have scouted the midfielder this season, but other Premier League regulars needing such a player, like Palace, Southampton and Everton, will surely keep an eye on him.

Sadly for Bournemouth, given the talent of Brooks at such a young age, it's tough to see how he sticks with them in the Championship for longer than a season.

Jefferson Lerma

Another man who has become an international player during Bournemouth's past two seasons is Jefferson Lerma, who now boasts 19 caps for Colombia.

This season, only Billing and Wilson have made more appearances for the Cherries as an outfield player than Lerma and his versatility will surely have teased Premier League opposition to purchase him.

Still only 25, the Colombian has been utilised as a right-back and in various roles in midfield. Plus, it's fair to say he wouldn't cost a considerable amount, but Lerma will be a promising addition to any mid-table club looking to bolster their squad depth, as he is so versatile.

There is also the temptation of a move back to Spain, where his native language is spoken and this is a place where spent three years with La Liga outfit Levante.

Bournemouth might be able to keep him, but given his experience and ability in both top divisions of Spain and England, it could be another battle Howe has to fight.

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Lewis Cook

Lewis Cook shocked a few people when he chose to move to Bournemouth from Leeds United over a variety of Premier League clubs. Back in 2015, Cook was one of the Championship's hot prospects and it was only a matter of time before we saw him make the move up a tier.

Now in the Premier League and with three-and-a-half seasons under his belt, the ex-Leeds man will not want to make the move back down to the Championship at the age of 23.

Similarly to Wilson, Cook has had a taste of international football with England, earning a few call-ups since 2017 and the midfielder made his full debut as a substitute against Italy in 2018.

Cook is still young and surely has his eyes set on a return to the Three Lions' setup and to do so, sticking in the Premier League is essential. For this reason alone, it's tough to see him staying with the Cherries and maybe a move back to Leeds will come after they switch places with Bournemouth in the top-flight next season.

Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke is a footballing enigma in the purest sense. Once upon a time, the striker was a Chelsea youth product destroying defences in the academy ranks and scoring goals for fun with every England setup form U16 up to the U21s.

The Reading-born would never make a Premier League appearance for Chelsea and therefore move to Liverpool, where it looked as if we would finally get to see him in all his glory.

Solanke would make just five Premier League starts across two seasons for the Reds and although an England call-up would come, the forward scored just once under Jurgen Klopp.

Now at Bournemouth and still just 22, Solanke has plenty to give and surely won't turn down another Premier League offer, should it come.

In reality, however, it does seem life in the Championship is exactly what he needs to cement himself as a threat in the professional ranks, rather than just another Chelsea wonderkid who did well in the youth setup.

Life in the top-flight is far from over for the Solanke, but he should stick with Bournemouth and earn his keep in the second tier first. This could actually be a blessing in disguise for the Englishman.

By Rob Spereall

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