One way to summarise Bournemouth’s 2018/19 season is that they scored more goals than any team outside the top six, but conceded more than any other team not to have been relegated.
They were led to by the counter-attacking prowess of Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson but were the victims of their defensive frailties.
Having spent £80 million on incomings, last season’s 14th placed finish was slightly disappointing. Having held on to their most valuable assets this summer, Eddie Howe’s side should look to push into the top-half this campaign.
RealSport looks at how they could line-up on FIFA 20 this year.
Asmir Begovic (OVR 79 – 76)
Country: Bosnia & Herzegovina
Goalkeeper is the most contentious spot in Bournemouth’s line-up, simply because Asmir Begovic had a torrid season last season. His competition hits both extremes on the age scale, 39-year-old Artur Boruc and 20-year-old Mark Travers. Begovic should start the year, but he’s on thin ice.
Jack Stacey (OVR 60 – 68)
Nathaniel Clyne’s return to Liverpool gives Jack Stacey an opportunity at right-back. He’s somewhat of an unknown quantity, having arrived this summer in a £4 million transfer from Luton. His stats in League One were impressive for a defender, scoring four and assisting eight.
Nathan Ake (OVR 79 – 81)
Ake is easily Bournemouth’s best defender, and Eddie Howe will be delighted to have kept hold of him this summer (although a £75 million price tag certainly helped). He’s an elegant player who will be crucial for the Cherries this year.
Steve Cook (OVR 77 – 77)
This is another contentious position that will likely be contested between Steve Cook and Wales international Chris Mepham. Cook is not as good as Ake but has been a reliable defender for Howe’s side over the years. His rating stays at 77.
Lloyd Kelly (OVR 64 – 73)
Kelly arrives from Bristol City with high expectations. For a fullback he’s a physical specimen, he stands at 6’3″ and is very powerful. It’s been suggested that he may move to centre-back when Charlie Daniels returns from injury. At 22, he’s one to watch.
David Brooks (OVR 69 – 78)
Position: CAM, RM
Brooks should be one of the biggest ratings boosts in the Premier League after a seriously exciting debut season in the top flight. For his age, he’s a remarkably complete player – he can dribble, pass and score great goals, as well as being adept on the flanks or behind a striker. His endeavours last year earned him a nomination for PFA Young Player of the Year.
Jefferson Lerma (OVR 79 – 79)
Position: CDM, CM
Brooks and Jefferson Lerma were the biggest successes in an otherwise underwhelming group of additions last season. He brings energy and steel to the side, although is sometimes guilty of showing a dirty side to his game. His rating should stay at 79, or possibly up to 80.
Lewis Cook (OVR 77 – 77)
Lewis Cook was sorely missed last season after rupturing his ACL. He may not be rushed back this year; Howe has signed Philip Billing from Huddersfield as cover. If he can get Cook fit again, he should develop into a key player and add to his sole England cap.
Ryan Fraser (OVR 77 – 81)
Ryan Fraser had an excellent campaign last season, scoring seven and assisting 14 in the Premier League and forming a menacing partnership with Callum Wilson. He should be a weapon on FIFA 20 – his blistering pace makes him the perfect counter-attacking player. Bournemouth will be delighted to have kept hold of him after frequent links to the likes of Arsenal. His rating will be boosted to 81 or 82.
Josh King (OVR 78 – 78)
Position: CF, ST
Josh King doesn’t receive the headlines of his strike partner Callum Wilson, but that isn’t to say he’s not effective. Playing behind Wilson, he foils him well and is pretty dangerous in front of goal, scoring 12 last season. His rating should stay on 78, or possibly increase to 79.
Callum Wilson (OVR 78 – 81)
Callum Wilson had a brilliant start to last season, earning himself an England call-up and a couple of failed bids from Chelsea. He finished with a great return of 14 goals and nine assists in the league, contributing more than any other Bournemouth man. His and Ryan Fraser’s partnership is central to the Cherries’ hopes this year.
On the bench
Artur Boruc (OVR 75 – 73) will deputise for Begovic, but keep an eye on 20-year-old Mark Travers (OVR N/A – 65).
In defence, Chris Mepham (OVR 68 – 70) will provide central cover with Charlie Daniels (OVR 75 – 75) set to return from injury.
Trevor Billing (OVR 68 – 73) has been signed to add some versatility in the centre of midfield. Dan Gosling (OVR 73 – 74) will return in the autumn and is another good option.
Bournemouth will be hoping for some slightly improved showing from former Liverpool men Jordon Ibe (OVR 74 – 74) and Dominic Solanke (OVR 70 – 70), on whom they spent a good deal of cash.
Current Liverpool youngster Harry Wilson (OVR 70 – 75) has joined on loan, after a successful season at Derby last term, and expectations are high.
READ MORE: Liverpool FIFA 20 player ratings predictions
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