Premier League profile 2015/16: Bournemouth
Championship champions Bournemouth will be hoping to emulate Leicester City in staying in the Premier League after finishing first in the second-tier too, and are odds-on at 8/15 with Coral to do so.
However, unlike the Foxes, this will be the first time in the Cherries’ history that they have played in the top flight, and they could instead suffer the same fate of other recent former winners Cardiff City and Reading in going down after one season. They are 7/5 for relegation.
But Bournemouth hero Eddie Howe, whose connections with the club began way back in 1991 when he was a youth player, is certainly level-headed, and has made a few sensible signings.
The 37-year-old boss has brought in two highly experienced Premier League players in former Everton centre back Sylvain Distin and Artur Boruc, who was on loan with the club last season.
Frenchman Distin, also 37, will battle it out with the likes of skipper Tommy Elphick and Steve Cook in the heart of defence.
Meanwhile, Boruc, who was first choice stopper for the Cherries last term, has been named number one, but the club have other experienced custodians such as Lee Camp and fellow new signing Adam Federici on their books.
Elsewhere in defence, Bournemouth have also brought in one of the most highly-rated young Englishmen in football, by taking on Tyrone Mings from Ipswich for £8m.
The tall starlet is adept to playing in the centre or left, where Charlie Daniels currently plays, and his versatility and talent will be a huge help.
Other exciting young stars that have joined the south coast side include forwards Christian Atsu and Joshua King.
Ghana international winger Atsu has signed on loan from Chelsea, after spending last season with Everton, and will certainly provide Howe with pace in attack.
Former Manchester united academy graduate and Norway-capped King, meanwhile, joins from Blackburn Rovers, and it will be interesting to see if he can make a successful transition from the Championship to the top flight.
While King has never been that prolific in front of goal, he did manage a hat-trick against Premier League side Stoke City last season in the FA Cup fifth round.
Howe will certainly be hoping that these new signings can gel in well with his stars last term such as winger Matt Ritchie, midfielder Harry Artur and the club’s top scorer in 2014/15 Callum Wilson.
The England Under-21 international struck 20 times in the Championship last season, and thankfully for Bournemouth has recently signed a new four-deal to put off other suitors.
On signing the contract, he said these brilliant words to sum up the ambitious club: “I signed [from Coventry City in 2014] thinking we would get to the Premier League in the next few years and we did it in the first season.
“There’s no reason, at this moment in time, why anyone would want to leave because we are in the Premier League and have a great manager, who is young and wants to be successful.
“We have a great squad here, so we have all the key components to be successful in the Premier League and hopefully we can achieve that,” he added.
“Playing in the Premier League is all I have ever dreamed of. You want to be on Match of the Day and play against the players you idolise. I’m more than happy here.”
So, if you fancy Bournemouth to carry on their remarkable rise, then back them to be the top promoted club (out of Watford and Norwich City too) at 5/4 this season.