Projected starting XI
Asmir Begovic; Charlie Daniels, Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Adam Smith; Jordon Ibe, Andrew Surman, Harry Arter, Max Gradel; Joshua King, Jermain Defoe
How do you feel about the club's summer transfer business?
Bournemouth has done a great job filling some big needs over the summer. Asmir Begovic was a much-needed signing in goal with last year's regular starter Artur Boruc now 37 years old. Jermain Defoe's wages are big, but he's arrived on a free transfer and his goal-scoring record is superb. Nathan Ake impressed on loan for the Bournemouth last year, and his ability to play all of center back, left back, and defensive midfield makes him worth his £20 million fee.
The Cherries will expect to improve from within at some other positions, which makes sense. Lewis Cook and Max Gradel lost big parts of last year to injuries. Emerson Hyndman impressed on loan at Rangers, while Lys Mousset and Jordon Ibe should do better than they did last season.
What's the highest reasonable goal the team has and what needs to go right to get there?
Seventh place, slotting in just behind the six big-money clubs, isn't completely out of the question. Everton is spending big this summer, but also lost their best player, Romelu Lukaku. Eighth-placed Southampton might lose their best player, Virgil van Dijk. But Bournemouth, coming off a ninth-place finish, is avoiding the transfer vultures thus far.
For the Cherries to leapfrog the two teams in front of them and hold off challengers from below, they'll need all of the aforementioned players expecting to play bigger roles this season to improve. Between that and the signing of Defoe, Bournemouth shouldn't be hurting too much if Joshua King comes back down to earth after a 16-goal season ... or gets sold.
Who's a player on the team that neutrals might not know much about, but should become fans of?
Left back Charlie Daniels is quietly one of the Premier League's most effective suppliers. And with Bournemouth's army of big strikers and goal-poachers, a lot of his crosses should be turned in for goals. Every team would love to have a player like him who gets on with his job without many errors and consistently serves in quality crosses.
Who will be the team's MVP this season, and why?
Ake. As other defenders and midfielders get injured, suspended, or lose form, he'll be the Swiss Army knife there to fill in where needed. He won't be Bournemouth's best player, but he could be the most important one.
Main photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images