Eddie Howe has done plenty to enhance his reputation after a summer of being linked with the England job, by guiding Bournemouth to an impressive start to the campaign. The Cherries start 2017 better than off than 12 months ago when they secured survival with five points to spare, and will be eager to push on and claim a top-half finish.
The resources of their rivals means the south coast club must scale back expectations, yet Bournemouth will be required to react to those sides below them who will inevitably strengthen. Wins over Liverpool and Leicester City can't be built on without freshening up the squad.
What they need
Howe's side have already been involved in over half a century of goals this term and with a negative goal difference it is clear the weakness lies in defence. Clean sheets against Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur prove they can hold their own at this level, but there is an over-reliance on the remarkable Steve Cook.
Furthermore, 12 Premier League clubs have at least one player who have netted more times than Bournemouth's leading marksman Callum Wilson, and with Nathan Ake the next highest scorer there is a need for a striker to cement their top half status. In goal, concerns remain over Artur Boruc, whose handling and kicking errors continue.
Who could join?
With news of Bournemouth's stadium move and Howe's revelation that any spending could be minimal, the club have been linked with very few players. Portsmouth youngster Conor Chaplin has been watched by the Vitality Stadium side, according to The Sun, but that remains one of the few rumours currently doing the rounds.
Having been unable to expand their 11,500-seater home, Bournemouth must now raise funds for a new ground to help cement their status as a top flight mainstay. Whether this impacts on their ability to stay in the Premier League until they are expected to move in in 2020 is yet to be seen.
Who could leave?
Cost-cutting could make Bournemouth vulnerable to offers for their star players, not least striker Wilson who is subject to interest from a host of Premier League clubs. West Ham have been linked with a £25m move for the 24-year-old in January, according to The Guardian. Everton meanwhile are set to compete for his signature, according to The Daily Mirror.
Other outgoings could also be beyond Bournemouth's control. Nathan Ake, who has impressed this term on a season-long loan from Chelsea, could be recalled by his parent club. Howe fears the clause may be activated but as yet Antonio Conte is yet to confirm whether he is interested.
What the manager has said
"I don't think it will be a huge window for us this season, but you never know how things can change in football, with injuries," said Howe, according to Clubcall. "There are a couple of things we would look to do, but they would not be major moves in the market. We don't expect major changes, if any they would be subtle ones to make sure we are well prepared. If we did receive any bids, then we would look at it, but as far as I am concerned we would not want to be selling any player that is a key part of our long-term plans."