AFC Bournemouth

In Profile: AFC Bournemouth

Leicester City’s next opponents, AFC Bournemouth, have experienced a remarkable turnaround in fortunes in the past decade.

The Cherries, who Leicester City travel to face on Sunday (7pm kick-off), have played in all four of England’s professional divisions in the last 10 years, rising from the bottom to the top under the tutelage of manager Eddie Howe.

After originally being founded as Boscombe FC in 1899, Bournemouth celebrated their 120th anniversary last year. They famously caused a huge cup upset in 1984, when Harry Redknapp's men, in the fourth tier of English football, beat holders Manchester United 2-0 in the FA Cup Third Round.

They, of course, are more renowned in the modern game for their meteoric rise and have enjoyed five successive seasons in the Premier League...

The manager 

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Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

Across two spells as manager, Eddie Howe has transformed AFC Bournemouth.

At the heart of Bournemouth’s resurgence in recent years, Eddie Howe is currently the Premier League’s third youngest manager at 42 years.

When Howe succeeded Jimmy Quinn at Vitality Stadium in January 2009, the south coast outfit sat 91st in the Football League pyramid with a 17-point deficit.

However, 12 wins from 21 League 2 outings under Howe led to a 21st-placed finish, and the following term, the Cherries were promoted after finishing runners-up to champions Notts County.

Two campaigns in League 1 followed, with a play-off semi-final loss to Huddersfield Town in 2010/11 denying them back-to-back promotions.

In January 2011, midway through the campaign, Howe departed for Burnley, but he returned in October 2012.

That saw them finish second in League 1, resulting in them playing in the second tier for only the second time in their history, before a brilliant 2014/15 campaign led to them winning the Championship by one point.

Their first-ever season in England’s top flight ended in them finishing the campaign in 16th, while the 2016/17 season saw them place ninth – their highest-ever league position.

Last campaign, Bournemouth finished 14th in the Premier League table, with them recording impressive wins over Watford (4-0), Chelsea (4-0), Brighton & Hove Albion (5-0) and Tottenham Hotspur (1-0).

This season, however, has seen the Cherries become embroiled in a relegation battle, with four games remaining for Howe to preserve their status as a top flight club.

The squad 

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Arnaut Danjuma
Arnaut Danjuma

Dutch winger Danjuma was the Cherries' most expensive signing during the summer of 2019.

Bournemouth spent big in the summer of 2019, with left winger Arnaut Danjuma the most expensive of those purchases, at a reported £16M from top flight Belgian outfit Club Brugge.

Elsewhere, defenders Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey were both brought in from the Sky Bet Championship, as was midfielder Phillip Billing, while attacker Harry Wilson joined on loan from Liverpool.

Going in the opposite direction were Tyrone Mings and Lys Mousset, signing for newly-promoted Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Sheffield United respectively.

The Cherries did little business in the January transfer window, but did manage to keep hold of forward Joshua King and defender Nathan Aké, after several clubs showed interest in their star men.

The trophy cabinet

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AFC Bournemouth win the Championship
AFC Bournemouth win the Championship

The Cherries lifted the Championship title in 2015.

Bournemouth’s most recent piece of silverware came in the form of the Championship trophy in 2015, when they pipped Watford to win England’s second tier.

They won the League 1 title, formerly the Third Division, in 1987, as well as the Football League Trophy, now the Leasing.com Trophy, after coming from behind to beat Hull City at Boothferry Park in 1984.

The stadium

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Vitality Stadium
Vitality Stadium

The Cherries' home is the smallest capacity stadium in the Premier League, holding just over 11,000 supporters.

Vitality Stadium - or Dean Court - has 11,329 seats and has been the Cherries’ home since 1910. It is the smallest capacity stadium in the Premier League.

The ground was redeveloped in 2001 and, in more recent years, has staged two England Under-21s fixtures, against Latvia in September 2017 and Germany in March 2019.

As well as redeveloping the club's training ground, Bournemouth have plans to one day move from Vitality Stadium into a more modern, higher capacity venue.

The fixtures

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AFC Bournemouth
AFC Bournemouth

Eddie Howe's side face trips to Manchester City and Everton to conclude their season, either side of a south coast derby .

After hosting Leicester, Eddie Howe’s outfit take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 15 July (6pm kick-off), before their final home game of the campaign on Sunday 19 July (2pm kick-off) against south coast rivals Southampton. Finally, the season ends with a trip to Everton on Sunday 26 July (4pm kick-off).

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