Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe has won promotion from every division in the Football League - but the Premier League represents his sternest test Getty Images

Last season

Championship: 1st

FA Cup: Fourth Round

League Cup: Fifth Round

Top Scorer: Callum Wilson (23)

Summer's work

The riches of the Premier League ensure that newly promoted clubs no longer operate on a shoestring budget, and that much is true with the Cherries, who have combined a spate of free transfers with some substantial spending. Sylvain Distin will add vital experience, if not assurance, to the defence, but the marque signings come in the form of talented full-back Tyrone Mings for a record fee and Max Gradel from Saint-Etienne. Fourteen goals last season was not enough to convince Brett Pitman to remain on the South Coast, as he moves to Ipswich Town.

Tyrone Mings
Tyrone Mings arrives with a grand reputation from his time at Ipswich Town Getty Images

Manager – Eddie Howe

Quite rightly named the League Managers' Association manager of the year after guiding Bournemouth into the top flight for the first time in their 116-year history, Howe can do no wrong as he tests himself in Europe's most cosmopolitan division. A winner of promotion in each division of the Football League now faces his most daunting test yet, as he attempts to assert Bournemouth's adventurous style of play on some of the biggest clubs on the planet. The only concern is whether rival teams will finally catch on to the hype.

Key player – Matt Ritchie

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie was involved in 32 Bournemouth goals last season, with 15 goals and 17 assists Getty Images

Bournemouth may be primarily about their passing game in open play, but they arrive in the Premier League with a trump card from set pieces. In Ritchie, the Scotland midfielder who has wasted little time impressing for his country, there is a left foot waiting to pray on unsuspecting defences across the league. Seventeen assists came courtesy of Ritchie's guile last season, while no player created more chances for the champions of the second tier. Callum Wilson and new signing Joshua King will be fed all season long. Furthermore, the 25-year-old Scot's tenaciousness should define the team's approach at home.


Even in an era where modern football has the capacity to surprise and shock, the plight of a small club making an unexpected top flight appearance with a squad build of inexperienced, yet exuberant, players has a familiar feeling to it. Burnley, Blackpool and previous incarnations of West Bromwich Albion have had their enthusiasm quashed by the demand to acquire points both by entertaining and grinding down the opposition. Expect Bournemouth to adopt a similarly valiant ploy, with almost inevitable consequences.

IBT Prediction – 20th

The Cherries won't go quietly and will provide a shock or two, but relegation is almost certain.