Bournemouth aiming for Premier League promised land
The Champagne-soaked shirts have barely dried from the celebrations following AFC Bournemouth’s promotion to the Championship but the Cherries have already been installed at 10/1 to reach the Premier League next year.
Bournemouth’s sole focus at present is the final-day trip to Tranmere, where a win as 4/5 favourites would guarantee they go up as League One champions, but soon after preparations for the year ahead will commence.
Many will back the Dean Court outfit to drop straight back down, but with the club now willing to pay competitive wages and shell out for team reinforcements, the 10/1 Ladbrokes is offering on Bournemouth reaching the top flight could prove a shrewd investment.
Manager Eddie Howe, now in his second spell as boss of the Boscombe club, is clearly revered by the players and fans and the effect he has had on the team is clear for all to see with the Cherries currently on a club record-breaking eight-game winning run.
Howe’s ability to get the best out of players including Brett Pitman, who has hit nine goals in his last eight games, has been key to his side’s fortunes during the season run-in and if the former Bristol City forward can carry this form into the Championship Bournemouth should hit the ground running.
Pitman is not the only Cherries star to boast experience of playing at a higher level, however, with Simon Francis, Tommy Elphick and Lewis Grabban among those to have plied their trade at bigger clubs.
That said, Bournemouth are likely to need a few new faces in the changing room if they are to be serious contenders for back-to-back promotions.
Howe managed Charlie Austin at Burnley and has made no secret of his admiration for the striker he tried to sign as Bournemouth boss once before.
Austin, looks to be beyond the purse strings of the south-coast club but it is connections such as these that Howe will need to pursue in order to attract top talent.
If the manger can pull off a couple of transfer coups, or perhaps turn to Harry Redknapp (should he remain at QPR) to lend the Cherries some emerging talent as he has done in the past (think Rio Ferdinand and Jermaine Defoe), then Bournemouth could well be joining local rivals Southampton in the country’s top flight.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.