Written by Frankie Rudland
Cherries duo Ryan Fraser and David Brooks have received international call-ups from Scotland and Wales respectively after the pair’s blistering start to the season.
Summer signing Brooks has linked up with Ryan Giggs’ men for their Nations League ties against Spain and the Republic of Ireland, which will take place on the 11th and 16th of October. Brooks made his sixth appearance for Wales against former world champions Spain, and he was in fine form heading into the contest with two goals in his last two games for Bournemouth as he continues to impress. The youngster had an impressive assist for Wales’s only goal, which ended up being a mere consolation as Spain thrashed them 4-1.
Fraser will not be featuring for Scotland despite earning himself a call up to Alex McLeish’s side however, an unspecified injury has forced the winger to withdraw ahead of crucial Nations League ties against Israel and Portugal.
This will serve as a huge blow to both Scotland and Bournemouth if the injury proves to be substantial, as Fraser has been a pivotal figure in Bournemouth’s sensational start to the season. The Scot has weighed in with four goals and three assists in Cherries’ opening fixtures.
Bournemouth currently reside at a lofty sixth spot in the Premier League having won five of their opening eight league fixtures, a record that means Eddie Howe’s men are currently rubbing shoulders with heavyweights Arsenal and Tottenham. Fast flowing, counter attacking football has been the mantra for Bournemouth, so perhaps it’s no surprise that only champions Manchester City have scored more goals than Cherries in the Premier League this season.
At the heart of these assaults on Premier League defences is David Brooks. The £10 million summer signing has adapted effortlessly to life in the Premier League, in what is only his second full season of first-team football.
An elegant carrier of the ball and precise passer, Brooks has been the key to linking Cherries’ midfield and lethal attack this season, so it is no surprise that Giggs has again included the youngster in his new look Wales squad.
The likes of Ethan Ampadu, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson, Tyler Roberts and Brooks himself are just some of the new blood that Giggs has likened to the famed Manchester United class of 92. High praise indeed, but Brooks’ potential is undeniable and despite comments from Howe this week calling for the Welshman to stay grounded, it seems that the playmaker is set for a perpetual rise over the coming months.
Another player that seems to be on the up is Fraser, highlighting the fact that his injury setback couldn’t have come at a more frustrating time. The Scot registered another assist in the weekend’s mauling of Watford, and he would have been looking to capitalise on the consistency that has sometimes been absent from his game.
When Fraser is in the mood, he embodies Bournemouth as an attacking entity – fast, direct and dangerous, and it is these characteristics that have seen Howe’s men reach the 16-point mark in such rapid fashion.
There’s no doubt that Fraser will be sweating on how long he will be sidelined for, as Howe has the luxury of choosing between Junior Stanislas and Jordon Ibe to fill any potential void on the wing.
Fraser and Brooks were just two of the five senior Bournemouth players that have received international call-ups – Nathan Ake (Netherlands), Asmir Begovic (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Lewis Cook (England U21s), and Josh King (Norway) will also be turning out for their respective countries before the next time they pull on a Bournemouth jersey.
Cherries’ next obstacle is a goal-shy Southampton, who visit Vitality Stadium on the 20th of October. Until then there’s plenty of international action to soak up and a few players to keep tabs on.