I’m going to start my recap of the transfer window by looking at the Asmir Begovic transfer. The Bosnian left the Champions in search of first-team football after a season and a bit on the bench. At no point during the window did it really look like he would be heading anywhere other than Bournemouth.
Transfer Fee: £10mil
2016/17 League Stats: 2 starts
Verdict: This was one of those transfers which seemed inevitable as soon as the transfer window opened. Last season it was becoming clear that Begovic was unsettled and wanted more game-time. There weren’t many obvious options, especially in England, with most teams settled in the goalkeeping department. However with Boruc now 37 years old and gradually declining, Bournemouth wisely moved for their ex-loanee given his Premiership and international experience.
After six strong seasons with Stoke City I must admit I was personally surprised that Begovic opted to join Chelsea to effectively become an understudy. It’s usually pretty cut and dry whether a goalkeeper is going to get game-time or not. With Thibaut Courtois present at Chelsea, Begovic must have known he would end up playing second fiddle. I can only imagine that his motives for moving to Chelsea were either financial or for a greater chance of silverware even if his own contribution to that was limited.
In his first season at Chelsea Begovic actually got a respectable 15 starts in the league but this was largely due to injury and suspension to Courtois and a general instability at Chelsea as the team as a whole suffered on the pitch. Last season he only played the two games as Courtois’ and Chelsea’s position stabilised under Conte and they became Champions.
Begovic is really too good to be warming the bench, even for the Champions. It’s good to see him playing again as a number one for a Premiership team. For me he’s just outside of the top 10 goalkeepers in the league.
Bournemouth have secured a bit of a coup in Begovic and this signing helps, partially, strengthen the main weakness within the Bournemouth team, the defence. As a team they concede too many so any help in this area will be welcomed. The cliche goes, ‘great goalkeepers are generally worth around 10 points a season’. Whilst Begovic might not be quite in that class he will definitely earn Bournemouth some valuable points. I don’t see them as relegation candidates but it wouldn’t surprise me if they got drawn into it given their defensive record. If they stop scoring they could be in trouble. Begovic might just be the extra security to ensure they get over the line.
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) May 30, 2017
Was Begovic wasted at Chelsea? Should he have stayed? Let me know below.