Survival key as Bournemouth boss Howe plans summer reshuffle
The recent Premier League suspension has given Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe some time to consider his options.
The recent coronavirus outbreak has caused chaos around the world, let alone to the football schedule.
For now, and rightly so, football takes a back seat as health comes first.
Football managers up and down the country will now be fine-tuning their tactics, waiting for the season to resume at some point this summer.
There is also the issue of the summer transfer window, but that is a debate for another day.
Some clubs are sitting pretty and will already have their targets in mind, but Bournemouth faces an uncertain future.
Not only are they in a precarious position in the Premier League, Howe has several members of his squad out of contract this summer.
Club captain Simon Francis has been a stalwart for the club since he joined from Charlton Athletic in January 2012. He has helped the club climb from League One to the Premier League but at 35 his time could be up at the Vitality Stadium.
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc may be down the pecking order on the south coast, but like Francis, he is a huge presence in the dressing room. Boruc has been at the club since 2015, and he will likely be moving on this summer.
Bournemouth’s experienced campaigners Andrew Surman and Charlie Daniels are also out of contract and Howe may decide to let them move on.
😨 From being housebound for eight weeks…
… to running for the first time 💪
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) March 20, 2020
Jordon Ibe, Jack Simpson and Ryan Fraser may be offered fresh terms in their mid-20s, but there is still plenty for Howe to think about.
Should they stay up, he has to consider the cost of letting his experienced pros leave. As they say, you cannot often buy experience and Bournemouth may be in a worse position if they let these players move on.
On the flip side, several high-profile exits may be just what the club needs as they look to bring in high-quality replacements.
The extra money could go towards wages, and the lure of the Premier League and a starting spot would be very hard to turn down if you were contacted by the Cherries.
Howe has worked wonders since he got Bournemouth to the top flight, but the club are now at a crossroads. They cannot afford to keep fighting for their spot and now seems like the perfect time to start afresh.