Bournemouth are close to signing Brentford centre-back Chris Mepham for a fee believed to be over £15 million, it has been reported.
The Cherries were unsuccessful in luring Mepham to the Vitality Stadium in the summer after the Bees rejected their bid of £10m.
Eddie Howe is determined to make him sign on the dotted line this time around, however, and the BBC have revealed that Mempham is close to joining Bournemouth.
Mepham keeps everything easy and simple at the back. He is a good passer of the ball and is a calm and composed figure.
The 21-year-old also has a decent pace to cover the ground and is hardly seen committing himself to needless tackles or going in for a rash challenge unnecessarily.
More often than not, he dominates his opposition in the air and refrains from taking risks while clearing the ball.
Mepham has impressed in the Championship this season after having featured in 22 league games, registering 1.2 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 4.2 clearances per game in the process.
There have been a few instances when the former Chelsea youth academy player has appeared too anxious which has invited pressure.
It remains to be seen how he’ll play out the ball from the back in the top-flight and though it might not be a big weakness right now, it might eventually become one as the Premier League is much more intense and defenders don’t get much time on the ball
Nathan Ake and Steve Cook have played every Premier League game so far this season and intriguingly, Chelsea are reportedly keen to re-sign Ake this month. Losing Ake would arguably be a big blow for Bournemouth.
The likes of Tyrone Mings and Jack Simpson aren’t the most trustworthy of players, so Mepham would be a welcome addition to the squad and will have the room to grow further under the tutelage of Howe if he makes the most of the opportunities he gets.
The Welsh international has no experience of the English top flight and there is a big difference in quality between the Premier League and the Championship.
If his move to Bournemouth materialises, he’ll have to hit the ground running else run the risk of falling behind.
Statistics Credits: Whoscored