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Cherries’ most recent Premier League line-up – where are they now?


THE PREMIER League beckons for Cherries after Scott Parker’s men won promotion from the Championship, marking a return to England’s top flight at the second time of asking.

In their last stint amongst the elite, Cherries maintained their Premier League status for five seasons, before being relegated at the end of the elongated 2019/20 season.

Last time Cherries graced a Premier League game they ran out 3-1 victors away at Everton, with victory not enough for Eddie Howe’s side to avoid the drop.

In a somewhat ironic twist of fate Everton could be swapping divisions with Cherries this summer, although it currently seems likely that Frank Lampard and co. have done just enough to avoid the drop.

As Cherries relax ahead of their return to the top table of English football, we take a look back at those involved on the final day and where they are now.

Bournemouth Echo:

Eddie Howe (Manager) – Howe and Cherries had become near synonymous to the wider football world after the former led the club into the top-flight for the first time. After five-years in the Premier League, Howe and the club mutually decided to part ways, leaving Cherries looking for a new manager for the first time in eight years.

Whilst Howe came extremely close to become manager of Scottish giants Celtic in May 2021, after over a year out of the game, Howe found a new club in the form of Newcastle.

The appointment of Howe followed the takeover of the club by a Public Investment Fund backed by the Saudi Arabian government, leaving the 44-year-old with resources he could only dream of whilst at Cherries.

With Newcastle languishing in the relegation zone prior to his arrival, Howe has taken the Magpies to mid-table safety, after spending a reported £90 million in January to bolster the squad.

Bournemouth Echo:

Aaron Ramsdale (Goalkeeper) – It has been somewhat of a whirlwind two seasons since Ramsdale last wore a Cherries shirt. Relegated with the Dorset side, Ramsdale returned to boyhood club Sheffield United for a fee of £18.5 million.

The Blades were flying high after a debut Premier League season, when they finished ninth.

Fast forward a season later, and Ramsdale suffered his second successive relegation, despite impressive displays between the sticks for the Blades.

Called-up as injury replacement for the goalkeeper he replaced at Sheffield United, Dean Henderson, Ramsdale was part of the England squad that reached the final of the delayed Euro 2020, losing to Italy at Wembley on penalties.

Despite the blot of two relegations on his record, Arsenal swooped in to pick up the shotstopper on a deal that could potentially rise to £30m.

The 24-year-old’s stock continued to rise, leading to a first England cap in November, against San Marino during World Cup qualifying.

Bournemouth Echo:

Adam Smith (Right-back) – The entirety of the back four played the full 90 minutes as Cherries defeated Everton, with Adam Smith starting at right-back.

Alongside centre-back Lloyd Kelly, Smith remains at the Vitality Stadium. Although hampered by injuries over the past two seasons, the former Tottenham man remains an important part of the first-team picture at Cherries, seemingly remaining first-choice at right-back under Scott Parker.

Originally a loan signing back in League One, Smith recently passed the 300 game mark for Cherries.

Steve Cook (Centre-back)– Another defender that has appeared over 300 times for the club, Cook started the season on the south coast – before departing for pastures anew in January after being frozen out at Cherries.

Currently with Nottingham Forest, Cook will be hoping his side follow Cherries into the Premier League.

Cook’s Tricky Trees currently have a 2-1 lead ahead of the second leg of their play-off semi final against Sheffield United, with Forest also enjoying home advantage.

The 31-year-old will be hoping there is no repeat of Cherries’ play-off defeat last season, when he limped off with injury against Brentford before watching on from the stands as the Bees beat Cherries to reach Wembley.

Bournemouth Echo:

Lloyd Kelly (Centre-back) – Whilst the 2019/20 season was a miserable experience for all Cherries involved, Kelly found it worst than most. Instantly subdued by an ankle injury picked up in pre-season after arriving from Championship Bristol City for £13 million, Kelly suffered numerous set backs. In a way the initial lockdown due to COVID helped Kelly, allowing the defender to make his debut in June, coming off the bench during the second game of Project Restart.

His eight Premier League appearances came in the last fixtures of the season, with Kelly quickly establishing himself as first-choice centre-back partner for Steve Cook.

Under Jason Tindall and Jonathan Woodgate Kelly flittered between left-back and centre-half, but the Bristolian has now carved out his role under Scott Parker, with the head coach naming Kelly his captain at the start of the season.

Bournemouth Echo:

Diego Rico (Left-back) – Like the other four defenders, Rico did not depart at the end of the relegation season. Instead, he stayed at Cherries for a further year, before returning to his homeland with Real Sociedad. Against Everton, Rico’s free-kick was headed home by Dom Solanke to give Cherries a one goal advantage heading into the break.

During the 2020/21 season Rico frequently played under Tindall, but struggled for consistency once Woodgate took charge of Cherries.

This summer his return to Spain was sanctioned, with the 29-year-old leaving Cherries having played 84 times, scoring once, and providing 10 assists.

David Brooks (Right-wing) – Similarly to Kelly, Brooks likely would have missed the entirety of the 2019/20 season if it had ended on time.

Instead, with the league finishing in June and July, Brooks was able to return from an ankle injury, making nine appearances as Cherries slipped into the second tier.

The following season injuries struck again, with a knock early on in the campaign preceding a recurrence of the ankle injury.

Finally fit again at the start of the 2021/21 campaign, Brooks – and Cherries – were rocked by the news that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, an uncommon cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

As such, Brooks missed the majority of the campaign as he underwent treatment.

Ahead of Cherries’ promotion sealing win over Nottingham Forest, Brooks shared news that treatment was successful and had been given the all clear.

Bournemouth Echo:

Junior Stanislas (Right-wing / subbed on) – Away at Goodison stalwart Stanislas came off the bench to ensure the result with a late goal, making it 3-1 with 10 minutes to go.

Like Smith, Stanislas has remained at Cherries since relegation.

Last campaign Stanislas perhaps had one of the best seasons of his career, making 36 appearances and reaching double figures for goals for the first time.

Thanks to his exploits, Stanislas was offered a new two-year deal last summer, extending his stay at the Vitality Stadium until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

However, this season the former England under-21 international has been blighted with injuries, restricting him to just seven league appearances under Scott Parker.

Bournemouth Echo:

Dan Gosling (Centre-mid) – An ex-Everton player, Gosling played the full 90 as Cherries defeated his former employers.

Somewhat of a rotation option for Cherries at times, Gosling remained at the club after relegation, before departing for Watford in January 2021.

With the Hornets he achieved promotion last year, before being frozen out of the first-team entirely at Vicarage Road.

Brought back into the picture by Watford’s third manager of the season, Roy Hodgson, Gosling is relatively blameless for the fact Watford have been relegated with two games to go.

Bournemouth Echo:

Jefferson Lerma (Centre-mid) – Alongside Gosling was Colombian international Jefferson Lerma, who played the full 90 in the middle of the park. A cult hero amongst Cherries fans, Lerma has remained with the club despite interest from Premier League teams and abroad.

Just shy of 150 games for the club, Lerma is entering his fifth season as a Cherry, and aside from discipline issues, the hard-working midfielder remains a key cog in Scott Parker’s team.

Bournemouth Echo:

Josh King (Left-wing) – King’s seventh minute opener gave Cherries hope on the final day, even though the south coast club relied on Aston Villa losing away at West Ham. Despite some late drama Villa held on to a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium, sending King and Cherries down despite victory at Goodison.

King remained at the club after the drop into the second tier, but like Gosling, departed in the January window.

A bizarre transfer deadline day saw King linked with a host of Premier League clubs as he approached the final six months of his contract.

Seemingly a quasi-swap deal with neighbours Southampton was on the cards, with King looking likely to move over to Hampshire, with Shane Long moving in the opposite direction on loan.

Whilst Long did arrive at Cherries, King instead returned to the same ground he had experienced relegation at just seven months prior. A short stint at Everton until the end of the 2020/21 campaign saw King then move to Watford to be reunited with Gosling.

Unlike his midfield teammate, King has featured 31 times for Watford this campaign, with the Norwegian likely depart as he is a free agent this summer.

Harry Wilson (Left-wing / subbed on) – A loanee from Liverpool, Wilson returned to his parent club at the conclusion of the season.

Whilst he did not look out of place in the Premier League, Wilson failed to find another top-flight side who would take him, paving the way for him to return to his native Wales with Cardiff in the Championship.

The Bluebirds missed out on the play-offs, and with no real resources to make a permanent move, Wilson again went back to Liverpool.

After six loan spells and just two appearances for the Reds, Wilson called time on his spell at Anfield, making the move to Cherries’ promotion rivals Fulham for a reported £12 million.

It has been a far more productive season for the Welshman, as he contributed 10 goals and 20 assists for the Cottagers.

Bournemouth Echo:

Callum Wilson (Striker) – A regular goalscorer for Cherries in the Prem, Wilson was quickly subject to interest from numerous top-flight teams. In the end it was Newcastle who plumped for the former Coventry man, paying a rumoured £20 million to bring him up north.

Hampered by injury during his time in the north-east, Wilson has at least produced a decent goal return, striking 18 times across 42 appearances over the past two seasons. After being side-lined in Howe’s first game as Cherries boss with a calf injury, Wilson returned to action in Newcastle’s last game against Manchester City.

Bournemouth Echo:

Dominic Solanke (Striker) – Much maligned during Cherries’ spell in the Premier League, Solanke has had a much better time in England’s second tier. Whilst it took Solanke 39 games to record his first goals for the club, he notched his third against Everton, heading home a Rico free-kick just before half-time.

A more productive campaign last season saw him score 15, before nearly doubling his output this season, grabbing 29 goals as he featured in all 46 games under Scott Parker.

Bournemouth Echo:

Philip Billing (Centre-mid / subbed on) – Like a few others in this list, Billing is another Cherry to suffer the fate of multiple relegations. Picked up from recently relegated Huddersfield ahead of the 2019/20 campaign, Billing remains at the club despite being another player to have clubs sniffing around the Danish international when Cherries dropped down a tier.

This season he reached the 100 game milestone for the club, recording his best goal tally in his career. Billing’s 10 league goals is the first time he has reached double figures in a campaign.





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