Having guided AFC Bournemouth to their highest ever league finish last year Cherries manager Eddie Howe is riding the crest of a wave.
The young manager has taken the south-coast outfit from the brink of League One relegation to a top 10 Championship club (albeit for one season) in an extremely short space of time and despite losing top scorer Lewis Grabban to Norwich there is plenty of optimism for the season ahead.
Howe has recruited wisely so far this summer and has the bookies running scared with Ladbrokes pricing the Dean Court club as short as 13/2 to secure promotion to the Premier League Promised Land this time around.
The Cherries may lag behind the likes of Fulham, Cardiff, Norwich and Derby (to name but a few) in the betting but the additions to the Boscombe-based squad mean their rivals will write them off at their peril.
Grabban – who helped himself to 22 Championship goals last term – may have departed for Carrow Road but in his place is Coventry striker Callum Wilson.
Wilson set League One alight last year with 22 goals of his own and if the 22-year-old can carry that form into the second tier it bodes well for Cherries fans.
Wilson will be joined in the attack by January arrival Yann Kermorgant, who netted nine strikes in his 16 games in red and black last season, and the 32-year-old’s experience could help get the best out of Wilson.
Howe has also added former West Ham winger Junior Stanislas and with Burnley offering the 24-year-old a new deal to join them in the Premier League the transfer proves quite a coup for Bournemouth.
Stanislas cited the chance to work with Howe again as the motivation for his move and with the young manager earning high praise from the likes of Brendan Rodgers it’s easy to see why.
Howe’s philosophy fits perfectly with Bournemouth, as the club has always advocated expansive, attacking and entertaining football, and while he appears destined for bigger challenges in the future his desire to achieve success with the Cherries makes them a tempting play-off pick for the season ahead.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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