Bournemouth are battling hard at the top of the Championship to be one of the two teams promoted to the Premier League via the automatic promotion places. They currrently sit 2nd in the table behind an impressive Fulham side.
Whilst they are looking good, trouble could be just around the corner according to Sun reporter Alan Nixon. That trouble, says Nixon, centres around defender Steve Cook. Nixon writes that the Cherries stalwart is on the radar of Premier League side Newcastle United.
Sun man Nixon writes that Cook is “creeping up the hit list” of the Tyneside outfit who are managed by former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe. Cook isn’t the Magpies’ first option, adds Nixon, but rather a back-up should the Toon not be able to land Burnley either of Burnley duo Ben Mee or James Tarkovski.
Cook on Howe hit list
Steve Cooks been at Bournemouth since 2012, opining the south coast outfit in a £150,000 deal from Brighton and Hove Albion. Since joining from the Seagulls, Cook has gone on to taste promotion to the Premier League as well as relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship.
In that time, the veteran centre-back has amassed 386 appearances for the Cherries – 302 of these were eared under the guiding hand of Eddie Howe. He scored 21 goals for Howe during their time together, so the Newcastle boss is aware of his capabilities as a player.
Nixon says that Howe wants “Premier League experience” as his Newcastle side look to mount a battle against relegation from the Premier League. Cook certainly has that level of experience, having appeared in 168 games in English football’s top-tier competition.
Cook is the current club captain at Bournemouth but he hasn’t featured regularly in the Cherries’ attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League. In total this season, the 31-year-old has made just three appearances to his name – appearances that add up to just 246 Championship minutes.
There is little doubt that Steve Cook can cut it in the Premier League, his time there with Bournemouth is evidence of that. As it stands, the veteran defender is just a standby option for Bournemouth.
Bournemouth hopes of holding onto him would rest on the issue that he is only a third-choice for Eddie Howe’s Magpies side. As Nixon points out, the now cash-rich Geordie outfit have Burnley duo Mee and Tarkovski in their sights and in front of him.