Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Who plays next to Lerma?

The central midfield area is a little light for the Cherries. Now that Gosling is out of the picture and Harry Arter is probably up for grabs in the loan market this week, it is more or less a straight choice between Andre Surman and Philip Billing to take the space next to Jefferson Lerma, although Nnamdi Offoborh has played really well in the games I have seen over the summer and there are reports that AFCB could be in for Spurs' Victor Wanyama.

Philip Billing will be hoping to be picked for the first game against Sheffield Utd.
The match against Lyons gave us a good opportunity to see what Billing could do. He spread the ball very well to the wide areas and was not afraid to play the off long ball which was accurate and put Bournemouth on the front foot. He did find himself chasing back on the wrong side a couple of times against Lyons' quick breaks, but it was a solid enough performance for a player that hadn't been with the squad more than a couple of days.

Eddie Howe knows what he is getting though if he chooses Andrew Surman to play next to Lerma. The senior statesman of the team has been carefully worked through pre-season without playing too many games. He looked as tuned in as ever against Lazio on the Friday night, and it is interesting that Surman played next to Lerma in this game. It could be the way Howe is thinking of going at least against Sheffield United.

Lerma is a shoe-in as far as I can see. His goal against Lyons just sealed his top pedigree and it is for the others to get up to a similar standard. What will be good to see is whether Billing can get in the team early on instead of Surman and then what happens when Lewis Cook returns to fitness. It should be quite a contest and Offoborh is learning quickly from being around these players.

Personally, I'd like to see Arter kept until January to make sure Bournemouth have cover for any more injuries. Sadly, I expect Howe will want him out on loan or sold in this window, because an unhappy Harry Arter on the bench is not perhaps not good for the team. Harry will want to play and if Howe can't give him that guarantee of a chance then Harry will want to play for a team that will give him playing time.

The real unknown is whether Bournemouth could land Victor Wanyama who is 28 and picked u a knee injury in the Audi Cup recently, says the Sun. If Bournemouth were to splash out on this signing it would be a big name to bring in and a bit of a jolt to the kind of players that Howe usually goes for. I have been crying out for a quality signing and Wanyama would be a super signing to give more protection to their leaky defence.

In other news, AFCB are said to be in talks with Liverpool for a loan deal for Henry Wilson according to the Daily Mail and Liverpool Echo. Meanwhile, Swansea are hoping to take Sam Surridge on loan.

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