A.F.C Bournemouth have experienced a whirlwind few seasons under manager Eddie Howe. After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Football League in 2008-09, the seaside club have had a meteoric rise, culminating in promotion to the Premier League last season.
Currently hovering just above the relegation zone, the Cherries have held their own so far in their debut campaign, recording famous victories over Chelsea and Manchester United.
Their relatively positive results coupled with an entertaining style of play are even more notable when considering that the squad has suffered significantly with injuries.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Main striker Callum Wilson, left back Tyrone Mings and dynamic winger Max Gradel have been long-term absentees after sustaining serious knee injuries. These three players would have formed the bedrock of their starting XI and therefore, it is impressive to observe how well Eddie Howe and his players have adapted to their absence.
While the performances of the team have been admirable in these circumstances, there are still 17 matches remaining in the season and safety is far from secure.
As a result, Bournemouth have turned to the January transfer window. Indeed, through the significant backing of Chairman Jeff Mostyn and owners Maxin Denim, some impressive deals have been completed so far.
The Cherries have added bags of pace and potential in securing a loan deal for Juan Iturbe from Roma. The Argentine U-20 international was tipped for greatness upon his move to the Giallorossi, but after struggling to settle for a year and a half in the Italian capital, he is now granted a fantastic opportunity in the Premier League.
On January 10, Howe further strengthened his squad through the signing of former Arsenal trainee Benik Afobe. The powerful young striker has proven himself over recent seasons in League One and the Championship with MK Dons and Wolverhampton Wanderers respectively and now adds a focal point to the front line at Dean Court.
Finally, Howe has lured former Bournemouth player Lewis Grabban back to his old club from Norwich City. Just 18 months after initially leaving Bournemouth, the clinical Grabban returns to form what could be an explosive strike partnership with Afobe.
These three signings are signals of real intent and ambition from all those involved at the Cherries. Having experienced the aforementioned whirlwind journey up through the football league, it now appears that a conscious effort is being made to stabilise the club in the top tier.
While the fee paid for Afobe is undisclosed, it is rumoured to be around the £8 million mark, meaning that the club have splashed out £15 million mid-season to form a new strike force.
Coupled with securing the coveted services of Juan Iturbe, it certainly appears that long-term success is being targeted.
With a bright young manager in Eddie Howe, an attractive brand of football and significant financial backing, A.F.C Bournemouth are in the Premier League to stay and this January spending spree may facilitate just that.