Following on from our earlier Goalkeeper, Defender and Midfielder club reviews of Bournemouth, it is now time to take a look at the Cherries’ strikers and how they have performed this season. We have already written about their entertaining brand of football – it really does feel refreshing to see a club like Bournemouth rise so impressively in stature over the course of just a few seasons.
That rise has also been reflected in the attacking play on display from Eddie Howe’s men. They managed to net 55 Premier League goals this season – that’s 26 more than bottom club Sunderland, 14 more than local rivals Southampton and one more than sixth-placed Europa League winners Man United.
Now if that isn’t impressive for a club enjoying only their second season of top flight football, I don’t know what is!
It perhaps goes without saying that the primary contributor from Bournemouth’s attacking line was Joshua King. The 25-year-old ex-Man United and Blackburn forward has really enjoyed his breakthrough season this year, and he was the third most expensive Bournemouth striker out of four in the EuroFantasyLeague game – that’s great value!
16 goals and two assists from 36 appearances in total (31 starts, 5 as a sub) contributed massively to that tally, and he scored the goal that effectively ended Sunderland’s 10 year Premier League stay with a late winner at the Stadium of Light in the closing stages of the season.
The highlight of his season would surely have been during the team’s 3-2 win at home against West Ham back in March. He scored a hattrick, but missed a penalty – what a match that was! That game alone netted him 12 points – four for each of his three goals, a bonus two for confirming the hattrick but then losing them by missing from the spot. At a 5.00m valuation, he ended with a Price / Performance (P/P) score of 14.2, which is fantastic.
The second most prolific points scorer in terms of the EuroFantasyLeague game for the south coast club was Benik Afobe, but he was runner up by some considerable distance. He earned 27 points – a fair way under half of King’s return – but managed them from only 14 starts and 17 sub appearances. With a 3.00m price tag on his head, he returned a P/P of 10.3 – which, once again, isn’t too shabby.
1% of our fantasy managers had at least one of these two strikers in their squads, but those numbers will surely rise next term.
In third place, Callum Wilson found himself falling just short of Afobe’s total, to the tune of just three points less as he ended up with 24. He made 16 starts but only four sub appearances, and so featured much less. He matched Afobe’s goal tally of six, but his points were delivered at a more slow and steady pace, all from goals scored. His valuation of 7.50m, though, meant a P/P of only 3.7, so fantasy managers should consider whether he will want to right that wrong or if he may prove a risky inclusion next season.
Finally, Max Gradel featured for Bournemouth in the EuroFantasyLeague game, but barely did in reality as he made 11 sub appearances, providing a shocking return of -3. Failing to score a single goal, it was his three bookings – more than any other Cherries striker – that did in his points total. At a value of 7.50m he proved one of the worst inclusions this season unfortunately – he had a P/P of -0.5.
Despite the exciting play on display this season, Eddie Howe appears keen to reinforce his attacking options and looks set to secure Jermain Defoe’s return to the club after playing for them on loan 16 years ago. Taking a look at Defoe or one of his potential strike partners next season would be highly advisable!
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