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5 key players who helped Bournemouth secure a return to the Premier League
The Cherries are returning to the top flight at the second time of asking.
Bournemouth have been promoted to the Premier League following Tuesday’s victory over closest pursuers Nottingham Forest.
The Cherries’ top-flight return – masterminded by manager Scott Parker – comes after two seasons in the Sky Bet Championship.
Here, the PA news agency picks out five players who have been instrumental in the south-coast club’s success.
Second only to Fulham record-breaker Aleksandar Mitrovic in the division’s scoring charts, one-time England striker Solanke has enjoyed the best season of his career. The 24-year-old has doubled last season’s league goal tally of 15, striking 30 times, and also contributed valuable assists. The £19million ex-Liverpool man has plenty to prove at Premier League level, having managed just three goals in 42 top-flight outings for the Cherries before relegation in 2020.
Aged just 23, Kelly has led by example. He began the season as stand-in captain before taking on the role on a permanent basis following the sale of club great Steve Cook. The centre-back has been a rock in one of the division’s stingiest defences. His fine form and growing influence has overshadowed experienced internationals Chris Mepham and Gary Cahill, plus the long-serving Cook. Boss Parker believes Kelly to be “too good” for the second tier.
Travers has been one of the stories of the Championship season. Loaned out to Swindon in League One last term, the 22-year-old has taken significant strides to fill a void left first by Aaron Ramsdale and then Asmir Begovic. Having previously made just four league appearances for the Cherries, he has been almost ever-present this term, keeping 19 clean sheets. Manager Parker hailed the player’s rapid development as “remarkable”.
Former Arsenal academy player Anthony has enjoyed an exceptional breakthrough campaign. The 22-year-old winger made his first senior league start in August and has not looked back. He has chipped in regularly with goals and assists to supplement Solanke’s impressive figures. His swift progression into a first-team regular has proven even more valuable due to David Brooks’ long absence following his Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis.
An athletic midfielder who has become a consistent source of goals since dropping down a division. His strikes this term have included multiple winners and been worth a considerable number of points to the Cherries. Along with Kelly and Solanke, the Dane was named in the Championship team of the season. He has started almost every game when fit and dragged his side out of the mire on more than one occasion.