AFC Bournemouth 2018-2019 Summer Transfer Review
Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
AFC Bournemouth has laid low so far this transfer window, and despite their
1 acquisition (with another due to be announced shortly) (update: now up to 3) and the 7 leaving, I’m not really concerned. I think the Cherries proved last year they have enough to stay up, and I don’t believe they’ve lost important enough pieces to put that in jeopardy. And, a roughly $12M transfer surplus is likely to make the bosses happy. (update: their latest acquisitions moved them out of the elite club who profited from the transfer window.) I think that Bournemouth assesses their needs and if they identify something urgent, they can address it in the winter transfer window (where almost every transfer is more expensive, based solely on the timing). Although, I don’t imagine they’ll show any holes unless the injury bug comes out in force, or a whole batch of Cherries goes bad (I know — I know, I couldn’t resist) I think they stay solidly mid-table.
If I’m Bournemouth, I think I’m personally looking for possible youth transfer targets that I can secure for a reasonable fee now and use as collateral for later or, possibly, just work on a homegrown starting squad. Generally speaking, this club has shown that they have a good eye for talent and have been able to acquire low and sell high, but when you are in a position where you can’t groom your own talent, having a transfer budget is going to really important.
- Jefferson Lerma ($31M from Levante UD) – this Lerma signing seems to indicate that this cherries side plans to stick around in the Premier League, my initial write up discussed that I thought they were likely to easily stay in the League. Their transfer business has done nothing but increase their chances of achieving far more. Lerma has almost 60 La Liga caps under his belt and has been a (relatively) recent addition to the Columbian national team. I’m looking for him to boss the midfield and get the ball moving forward quickly and I think he will be a huge addition to this team.
- David Brooks ($12.5M from Sheffield United) – Brooks was in good enough form to earn a call up in November to the Welsh national side. In total he made 33 appearances for Sheff United scoring 3 goals, and adding 6 assists to his tally. The goal scoring statistics are not really representative as the lion’s share of goals 32/62 goals scored in the league. I anticipate that Brooks will have a larger role in the attack with the sheer number of departures that Bournemouth has this season. That said, Brooks is merely 21, I think he’ll go on to have a good run with the Cherries who will hopefully either hang on to him or get what he’s worth (see below…)
- Diego Rico ($14M from CD Leganés) – Rico joined Leganés at the beginning of the 2016-2017 and almost immediately established his worth in the first team, despite coming from a second-tier club. Over the 2 years he was with them prior to joining up with Bournemouth he clocked 58 appearances to go with a couple of goals and assists. I think that he will be able to make another step up to the Premier League, and I think says a lot about the message Bournemouth is using that Rico was willing to turn down Borussia Dortmund to come play for the Cherries. I think this is a great capture for the Cherries and will help shore up the back line even further.
- Benik Afobe ($12.5M to Wolves) – I don’t mind trying to sell high, but I think you’re a little too excited to get rid of him if you let Wolves sell him a short time later for $2.5M more. Regardless, this worked out to be essentially a 2-year loan spell for Bournemouth that cost them about $1M per year. That being said, I’m not sure there’s a club in the league that wouldn’t gladly pay that for his level of contribution. The only downside for this is what I already noted, and that despite his stellar year Bournemouth didn’t even manage to break even on this transfer. I expected a bit more from this management team on this one.
- Lewis Grabban ($7.5M to Nottingham Forest) – This Grabban deal is something I’d like to attribute to a managerial change, or something except that Howe was there for everything but the initial acquisition. Honestly, this players whole future at the club seems like a little kid’s “hey, that’s mine! Give him back”. So I’ll give you the facts, and we can judge the outcome together. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, the Cherries bought Grabban for $400k, held onto him for 2 years at which point they sold Grabban to Norwich for $4M (January 2016). Sounds good right? It sounds like a good start, but this is where it gets weird… Almost exactly 18 months later the Cherries come knocking, and they get their man, but end up paying $10.25M for his services. Between then and now, he played just over 60 matches and spent the rest of the time on loan. So that means they paid $170k per game that he would actually play for the Cherries despite them having let him go a short time before, and only 18 of those matches were in the Premier League. Anyways, I’m hoping the Cherries are just trying to squeeze one last positive out of this move and get Grabban to the Championship where he’s played almost exclusively (including for Bournemouth).
- Max Gradel ($2.2M to Toulouse FC) – I’m not going to rehash above, and this one isn’t quite as bad as the Grabban thing, but it’s still not great. Bournemouth bought Gradel for $11M in the beginning of the 2015-2016 season when they were promoted from the Championship to the Premier League, and over the next 2 years Max would make 25 starts in the top tier. He was then loaned out to Toulouse, and eventually sold. So, if you’re keeping score at home they paid almost $440k per match he would play for the club at the top flight, and ironically, he made more appearances on a free loan in 2007-2008 than he would as a permanent member of the team. Not thrilled with this situation either, but clearly they are hoping to get out of it too.
- Ryan Allsop (Free Transfer to Wycombe) – Despite their being no money attached to this move, I think this might be their best return on investment. They got Allsop on a free transfer while in Tier 3, after which they had a few stellar seasons and ended up in the Premier League before he returned to Tier 3, to which he was likely much better suited. He made a few appearances here and there, but there was only wages involved, I think this is probably the right move to return Allsop to his element (especially since he’s pretty much been on loan to Tier 3 since the Cherries left).
- Adam Federici (Free Transfer) – Federici, like Allsop was a picked up on a free transfer and he’s made only a handful of appearances as a back up keeper, likely better suited for lower Tier soccer.
- Rhoys Wiggins (Retirement) – Not too much to say about this one, 30-year left back retired after not being able to break into the Premier League Bournemouth’s first team.
- Baily Cargill (Free Agent) – Youth player that joined up with Bournemouth in 2013, he’s been on loan pretty much ever since. He’s made a few appearances at the Championship level, but it seems like a clean break was a good move so both the player and the club can move on.