Our look at this season’s Premier League newcomers continues with the lowdown on south-coast neighbours Bournemouth.
Back in the Premier League at the second time of asking, the Cherries secured automatic promotion courtesy of a critical 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the penultimate game of the season.
In-form Forest could have leapfrogged their hosts with victory going into the final weekend, but Kieffer Moore’s late strike from a clever free-kick routine sent the Vitality Stadium into raptures and ensured there would be no last-day drama.
It also secured a second promotion to the Premier League in three seasons for Scott Parker, who led Fulham to play-off glory in 2019/20, with Bournemouth having fallen at the play-off hurdle under predecessor Jonathan Woodgate 12 months earlier.
A 15-match unbeaten start laid the foundations for Parker’s side to go one better, whilst a run of one defeat in their last 14 ensured they kept a resurgent Forest team at bay.
A former England international, Parker played in the Premier League for six different clubs, racking up 368 top-flight appearances in an impressive playing career spanning 20 years.
Born in south London, he came through the youth system at Charlton, winning the first of his 18 caps for the Three Lions with the Addicks.
Moving to Chelsea in 2004, where he played under José Mourinho, Parker left London to join Newcastle 18 months later, succeeding Alan Shearer as captain.
Returning to the capital to sign for West Ham in 2007, he was voted Player of the Year three seasons running, later joining Tottenham and Fulham, where he took his first steps into management two years after retiring.
Winning promotion in his first full season, Parker was unable to keep Fulham in the Premier League, but will hope to go one better with Bournemouth to prove his top-flight credentials.
One to watch
In any other season, Dominic Solanke would have been the leading contender to land the Championship Golden Boot, but even the striker’s 29-goal haul was shattered by Aleksandar Mitrović’s record-breaking tally of 43.
A consistent scorer throughout the campaign, Solanke never went more than three league games without finding the net, with a solitary Carabao Cup strike helping him to 30 in all competitions.
Boasting a formidable record at youth level, the 24-year-old was prolific in an England shirt, winning the Under-17 European Championship and Under-20 World Cup, landing the Golden Ball for his performances in the latter triumph.
Twice an FA Youth Cup winner with Chelsea, Solanke spent two years at Liverpool before joining Bournemouth in 2019, where he will be eager to replicate his Championship goalscoring prowess at the elite level.
-Shane Long spent the last three months of the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Bournemouth, scoring twice in 12 appearances.
-Goalkeeper Artur Boruc also spent time on loan in Dorset from Saints, but the move was made permanent after he helped the Cherries reach the top flight for the first time in their history in 2015.
-Another shot-stopper, Neil Moss, spent eight years at Southampton either side of spells with Bournemouth.
-A Saints Academy graduate, Andrew Surman racked up more than 100 league appearances for both clubs.
-Republic of Ireland international strikers David McGoldrick and Leon Best both gained valuable first-team experience with Bournemouth on loan from St Mary’s in their youth.
Saints wins: 15
Bournemouth wins: 8
Last five meetings
Mar 2021: Bournemouth 0-3 Saints (FA Cup)
Jul 2020: Bournemouth 0-2 Saints (Premier League)
Sep 2019: Saints 1-3 Bournemouth (Premier League)
Apr 2019: Saints 3-3 Bournemouth (Premier League)
Oct 2018: Bournemouth 0-0 Saints (Premier League)