Howe impressed by battle to be Bournemouth’s No.1
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says Mark Travers has produced a good response to losing his spot in the team and is happy to see the goalkeepers push one another.
The Cherries have had to chop and change who has started between the sticks for them since the start of 2019, Asmir Begovic having lost his spot as the team’s No.1 after a series of errors.
Travers, Begovic and Artur Boruc were then rotated by Howe towards the end of the season, with Travers finishing up as the first choice.
The Republic of Ireland shot stopper was then usurped over the course of the summer by the returning Aaron Ramsdale, who spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan at AFC Wimbledon.
The 21-year-old has since gone from battling relegation in League One with the Dons to starting for Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Ramsdale has started all four of the Cherries’ league matches this term and has been rewarded with a call-up to the England Under-21 side for their upcoming European Championship qualifiers.
The Bournemouth gloveman is expected to start for Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions in the clashes with Turkey and Kosovo as his rapid rise to prominence continues.
Meanwhile, Travers’ only start this season has come in the EFL Cup second round win over Forest Green last month.
Travers kept a clean sheet in the goalless draw with the League Two side before saving three penalties in the resulting penalty shootout to give Howe food for thought.
Bournemouth are currently in a situation where the club has four goalkeepers of equal quality, but none are of truly good quality. Starter Aaron Ramsdale is the only one who beats his xGA, but Irish youngster Mark Travers is the best short distributor. Who would start for you? pic.twitter.com/0KKWo8AOyR
— Aidan Reagh (@ARDataAnalysis) September 2, 2019
The Bournemouth boss says he’s been impressed by the application of Travers in the fight for starts and believes the two young shot stoppers pushing one another for starts can only bring about positive results.
“It’s really good to see that goalkeeping team and unit pushing each other,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.
“Mark’s very mature. I think he knows that the main thing at his age at the moment is to keep improving, make sure you come into the building every day focused on improvement and not necessarily focused on what number I am in the pecking order and all that stuff that you can’t affect.”
The performances of Travers and Ramsdale have been a welcome boost for Howe, who was reportedly keen on signing a new goalkeeper this summer with Stoke City’s Jack Butland top of his wishlist.
The form of the Cherries’ young shot stoppers also allowed him to bid farewell to Begovic, who joined Azerbaijani side Qarabag on a six-month loan deal in January.