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Transfer Talk: Cherries must make the right picks in January
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Alan Feehely
Gary O'Neill will likely be afforded reinforcements this winter
Gary O'Neill will likely be afforded reinforcements this winter

New Bournemouth owner Bill Foley has been thrown straight into a Premier League survival scrap.

Recent results have suggested that the Cherries are in dire need of reinforcements, with this season's relegation battle promising to be tight and Gary O'Neill needing all the help he can get. 

No new faces have arrived yet but there is still plenty of time to bring some in and the right acquisitions could inspire momentum going into the business end of the campaign. 

Ahead of their trip to Brentford this weekend, we take a look at where the Cherries should strengthen and who they could be bring in.

Treading water

Bournemouth are in a dangerous position as we approach the halfway stage of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, having taken just 16 points from their opening 18 games. 

The Cherries have scored 18 goals and conceded 39 — no other club in the division have shipped more. 

This suggests that their defence should be the priority when it comes to allocating funds for the upcoming transfer window, although O'Neill's men are hardly among England's sharpest shooters either. 

Bournemouth are also reportedly keen to target young, technical players with a high sell-on value.

Bournemouth have struggled for form so far this season
Bournemouth have struggled for form so far this season

Striking a balance

Speaking following the opening of the window, O'Neill revealed that, while there is likely to be investment over the coming weeks, his principal focus is on working with the players already at the Vitality Stadium. 

He said: "My main job is to improve the players that we have. I know the club are keen to have new arrivals and we are keen to help the group that are still here. 

"But my main job as head coach is to make sure that the ones we have got performing perform to the best of their ability — so full focus is on that at the moment. 

"We have a way it works at the football club. I am the head coach and there will be a transfer policy in place. [But] I will have a say on how it goes and who comes through the door."

Dealing with the Old Lady

Weston McKennie is an energetic presence in midfield
Weston McKennie is an energetic presence in midfield

A marquee signing would excite supporters and Juventus' Weston McKennie is on the Cherries' radar.

The 24-year-old midfielder, who has earned 41 caps for the United States, has been linked with a move away from Turin and is valued at £17.5million. 

Lewis Cook and Jefferson Lerma have been the most frequently used midfield pairing so far this season and it is unclear whether McKennie would replace one or if they would switch to a three. 

There is no doubt he would be a coup. McKennie has Champions League experience under his belt and has contributed 13 goals and four assists in 93 games for the Old Lady.

The issue may be the player himself, with reports in Italy suggesting he is holding out for a better offer from elsewhere.

Electricity and invention

Jeremie Boga has been afforded limited game-time in Italy this term
Jeremie Boga has been afforded limited game-time in Italy this term

Another option Bournemouth are reportedly considering is Atalanta winger Jeremie Boga. 

The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international already has experience in English football when he came through Chelsea's academy, before spending time on loan at Birmingham. 

Boga has also played in Spain and France but it is in Italy that he made his bones. The winger contributed 18 goals and 10 assists in his 102 games for Sassuolo. 

That earned him a move to Atalanta last summer but he has only featured for 1,147 minutes since arriving. 

A move to the Cherries could be appealing and he could bring something different to their attack.

The state of play

O'Neill, who replaced Scott Parker at the beginning of the season on a temporary basis and has only just been given the permanent job, is entering a critical stage in his tenure.

The Cherries are likely to remain in the fight against the drop until late in the season at least — but the work they do in these next 10 games could make their life much easier. 

After facing Brentford, Bournemouth will lock horns with Nottingham Forest, Brighton, Newcastle, Wolves and Manchester City. Points will be hard to come by, so they need to perform against the Bees this evening.


AFC BournemouthPremier League
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