The 2017/18 Premier League campaign hasn’t been easy for Bournemouth. The Cherries have struggled for form and the fluidity that has epitomised their football since promotion to the top tier has rarely been seen.
Eddie Howe isn’t under pressure and given his status at the club, and the fact Bournemouth finished ninth last season, things would have to go badly wrong on the South Coast for him to be shown the exit door.
But he does have problems to solve and perhaps the January transfer window will give him a chance to do so. Since the Cherries clinched promotion to the Premier League, Howe has tended to buy players from English football.
He prefers those who are tried and tested, who know the rigours of the top flight, but it’s perhaps time he looked further afield.
The Cherries have money to spend on the right players, so it’s down for their manager to identify diamonds in the rough.
Which areas do Bournemouth need to strengthen in January and why?
Olly: Personally I believe we need a leader as a central defender. We need someone who can provide the whole squad with leadership in games where we start to panic.
On top of that I also worry where the goals are going to come from, with Joshua King out, Callum Wilson unfit and Jermaine Defoe’s injury issues, it’s a worry we don’t have a natural goal scorer and don’t see Jordon Ibe stepping up.
Name realistic transfer targets you would like Bournemouth to sign in January and who should they replace in your starting XI?
Although he is 35 years old, Phil Jagielka would be an experienced signing who could help out in the new year.
What is your number one fear for January?
Our biggest fear in January is losing player like Joshua King or Harry Arter. With our current injury list continuing to grow, playing without those two would make the second half of the season very tough.
What would your dream January transfer window look like?
AFCB Loyal: Adding some defensive strength with someone like Jagielka would be an excellent move.
The Everton man would help replace Simon Francis, who hasn’t been at his best this season.
Olly: My dream transfer window would be to complete the signing of Demari Gray from Leicester City, who we previously failed to bring in, and to sign a leader who can consistently perform alongside Nathan Aké.
As long as we stay up this season we will be in a good position to strengthen in the summer, but I do feel it’s vital Eddie Howe makes some moves in the upcoming transfer window as I worry for our current squads consistency.