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One winner and loser as Cardiff swoop in on season-long loan for Harry Arter

It’s looking like Cardiff boss Neil Warnock will get the midfielder he’s been desperate for on deadline day.

Liam Thomas

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Harry Arter
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Cardiff are closing in on a deal to sign Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter on a season-long loan, with the player en route to the Welsh capital to complete his medical, according to Sky Sports.

Manager Neil Warnock had prioritised the midfield as an area for his side to improve on before the transfer window closes and it looks like the Cardiff boss will have his wish granted with the arrival of Arter.

Cardiff will begin their 2018/19  Premier League campaign this Saturday afternoon against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

(Photo by Nathan Munkley/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Winner – Cardiff’s midfield options

The arrival of Arter will be welcomed by many at the Cardiff City Stadium, and there’s certainly room for improvement for Warnock’s side heading into the new season.

The Bournemouth man is a terrific talent and was unfortunate not to see more game time for the Cherries last season. However, Warnock will in no doubt give the experienced 28-year-old a chance to play week in, week out.

On a day where Warnock expressed his midfield as his priority, Harry Arter seems like the perfect deadline day signing to get things going ahead of the new campaign.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Loser – Marko Grujic

Grujic enjoyed a terrific spell with Cardiff last season in the Championship while on loan from Liverpool and for the majority of this summers transfer window it looked likely the Serbian midfielder would join Warnock’s ranks on loan again.

However, according to the Liverpool Echo, Grujic turned down the chance to go back to the Cardiff City Stadium to instead fight for minutes at Anfield this season.

It will be a tough ask for Grujic to get some playing time at Anfield this season with the calibre of player they’ve brought in to their midfield this summer, and maybe the Serbian international has made a mistake by not taking Cardiff up on their offer of another season-long deal.

It remains to be seen whether or not Grujic will feature for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season. However, it’s highly unlikely he will.

Writer published by Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sport and Bleacher Report. Trying to elevate small talk to medium talk.

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Bournemouth

Three things learnt from Bournemouth’s win over Cardiff: Fraser is key

Howe’s side kicked off the new campaign in solid fashion.

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Photo: Getty Images

Bournemouth began their 2018-19 campaign in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Cardiff, finally winning a matchday one fixture.

Eddie Howe’s side had not won on the opening weekend in each of their previous three seasons in the top-flight but goals from Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson put the hosts in the driving seat for three points – despite a first-half penalty miss.

The Cherries will head to West Ham next weekend in good confidence and can take some key lessons from their performances. Here, we have identified three things we learnt from Bournemouth’s win.

King & Wilson’s partnership

Scoring 16 goals last season, eight each, Joshua King and Callum Wilson played a key-part in Bournemouth’s push for stability once again. The Cherries will face another stern test this season, particularly due to the free-spending sides around them, so it was positive to see the duo shine.

(Photo by AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

The stand-out moment came in the build-up for the opening goal, where King teed the ball across for Wilson on the right side and he then cut the ball back into the middle for Fraser to latch onto and tuck home comfortably.

Both boasting bags of pace, the duo kept Cardiff’s defence under threat throughout the match and Wilson finished the game with a goal and an assist.

Fraser is the star

Entering the campaign on the back of a decent pre-season, 24-year-old Fraser wasted no time opening his account for the season and maintaining a superb run that extends from last term – as he has now played a direct part in six goals in his last eight matches at the Vitality Stadium.

Against Cardiff, Fraser was heavily involved in everything positive that the Cherries created going forward and his goal was just a fraction of his fine performance. He popped up in space all over the field, causing the Bluebirds plenty of problems and not shirking his defensive responsibilities.

Now with over 100 league appearances for Bournemouth, Fraser could be a crucial part of Eddie Howe’s side this season and the relationship he could create with Wilson and King is very exciting.

“If we can keep Ryan [Fraser] fit he’ll be a big player for us this season. We needed this win after a poor start last year.”

– Howe echoed the view that Fraser will be a key asset this season.

Penalty woes continue

Last season Bournemouth were far from prolific from the penalty spot and Harry Arter’s missed spot-kick against Southampton in early April was the third that the Cherries had missed in a row. While we saw plenty of penalties at the World Cup, Howe seems to have avoided penalty practice in training.

To be fair though, Callum Wilson’s first-half penalty against Cardiff was not a horrendous effort. He went low for the right-hand corner and was denied by a brilliant save from Neil Etheridge – although if you were to criticise you could argue he could have put more power behind it.

Fortunately, the miss did not come back to haunt the hosts but it certainly could have done, especially as Neil Warnock’s side looked a lot more threatening in the second period.

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Bournemouth

One winner and loser from Bournemouth’s win over Cardiff

Bournemouth’s campaign started superbly with a comfortable victory.

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Photo: Getty Images

Bournemouth won a matchday one fixture for the first time in the Premier League at the fourth time of asking after a 2-0 victory over Cardiff.

Ryan Fraser continued his good form from pre-season to open the lead before Callum Wilson doubled their advantage in the second half, redeeming himself after seeing a first-half penalty saved by Cardiff stopper Neil Etheridge.

Eddie Howe’s side will now head to face West Ham next weekend full of confidence and will take some key lessons into that match. Here, we have identified one winner and loser from the victory.

Winner: Ryan Fraser

Catching the eye in pre-season, Ryan Fraser entered the campaign with good form and continued a fine record that carries over from last term – as he has now been directly involved in six goals in his last eight matches at the Vitality Stadium, scoring four and contributing two assists.

(Photo by AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

The 24-year-old has now scored a quarter of his 12 clubs goals in that period, from 112 league appearances, and it looks like he could be the shining light for Eddie Howe’s side as they seek top-flight stability once again this season.

Scotland international Fraser will certainly face competition for regular opportunities in his midfield role following the signings of Jefferson Lerma and David Brooks but he has certainly put himself right at the top of the pecking order.

“If we can keep Ryan [Fraser] fit he’ll be a big player for us this season. We needed this win after a poor start last year.”

– Howe praises Fraser after the victory.

Loser: Lewis Cook

Handed an extended break after his involvement at the Toulon Tournament with England’s U21 side, and also on the standby list for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Lewis Cook did not feature today and may now face a test to force his way back into the line-up.

He is certainly one of the best players within the Cherries squad but the midfield quartet selected by Howe for the match against Cardiff looked strong and composed throughout, keeping the Welsh side quiet and pegged back inside their own half during the opening 45 minutes.

The second half saw Cardiff look much more threatening and the midfield then dropped back to aid the defenders. If Cook is to be one of the first names on the teamsheet this season, he will need to hit the ground running on his return.

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One to watch: Bournemouth’s 21-year-old midfielder Lewis Cook

Introducing The Boot Room’s 2018/19 One to Watch series…

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Lewis Cook
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Lewis Cook is an accomplished 21-year-old. Already he has won an Under-17 European Championship, a Toulon Tournament, and has been an Under-20 World Cup winning captain.

Additionally, he has won a Football League Young Player of the Year award, and has now compiled over 120 competitive senior appearances and an England cap.

This season, Bournemouth will increasingly look towards Cook as their most important midfielder after he finished off last season as an undisputed starter as Bournemouth finished strongly and propelled themselves into a mid-table finish.

Play Style

The Englishman is a multi-talented midfielder.

He needs to be to fit into this side. He is not limited to the hard-nose dirty work, despite averaging more completed tackles per 90 minutes (2.7) than any other Bournemouth player in the Premier League last season.

He also successfully completed the third highest number of dribbles per 90 minutes (2) amongst Bournemouth players, behind Lys Mousset and Josh King.

(Photo by AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images)

It points towards his ball-carrying ability – his willingness to win the ball back and burst forward through midfield.

Comparisons have been made between Cook and West Ham’s Jack Wilshere, including from Eddie Howe.

“Watching Jack was very beneficial for him,” Howe told reporters.

“There are parallels to draw between the two, they’re both dynamic players, creative players, they’ve got an eye for a pass.”

Season Ahead

While Bournemouth have reinforced the midfield this summer, most notably with the addition of Jefferson Lerma, Cook should retain his role as a starter.

He simply offers something different to the other options at Howe’s disposal in midfield.

Another successful season, and hopefully another England call-up, awaits.

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