Grading The Deal; The Laudable Lewis Cook to AFC Bournemouth

Lewis Cook (YPOTY)

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The silly season is fully underway, as club “think tanks” seek to delve into the transfer market and attempt to strengthen their teams going into the new season, while also ensuring that they get the best possible value for money deals in a very competitive and largely inflated global transfer market. We at GSV have taken it upon ourselves to give you a comprehensive breakdown of some transfer deals in our Grading The Deal supplement, an exclusive and comprehensive guide catered towards the purists who seek to know more than the average fan regarding the wheeling’s and dealings in football today. Enjoy!

#TheSuperMarket

Leeds United Football Club can hang their hat on the club’s youth development academy’s ability to produce elite level ready young talents, many of whom often go onto have successful professional football careers in the game. Lewis Cook has followed Sam Byram by joining an ambitious English Premier League club after earning his stripes at Leeds United, while Byram chose to sign for West Ham United in January of 2016, Lewis watched on in agony as his move to The Cherries fell-through at the eleventh hour, when odds looked on for him to join Benik Afobe as the other hot English prospect signing for AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe is said to be a keen admirer of Lewis Cook and what he brings to the table, having scouted the wunderkind on numerous occasions over the course of last season, Cook will have been reassured of the opportunities he will have to further his development, in a team that seems perfectly suited to his dynamic game play.

Lewis Cook has made great strides in his relatively young professional career thus far, the lad has progressed in many regards due to regular first team exposure at a highly competitive level; while his potential ceiling remains extremely high, many have questioned just how far he could be in his development, were it not for having to play under 7 coaches during his time in the Leeds United first team, a spell that coincides with the rule of enigmatic & controversial Leeds United manager axing owner Massimo Cellino. A fresh start, and the lure of stability, in a culture that is not too dissimilar to what Leeds United have been aspiring to recreate within their illustrious club, will only serve Lewis Cook well as he continues to develop into the world-class talent he promises to become.

The departure of Matt Ritchie to Newcastle United for £12m had created a void in the Bournemouth midfield, Lewis Cook’s experience playing in multiple positions, and his effectiveness in different roles, garnered from playing differing systems, will have been great preparation for his new challenge in a team that looks to play their passing game while also adapting their structure to combat specific opposition threats. In Lewis Cook, AFC Bournemouth have secured the services of one of the hottest young prospects in English football, the transition from Championship to Premier League level will not necessarily be easy or without obstacles, but the structure in place at the club should allow the transition to be one that only progresses Lewis Cook’s development.

Lewis Cook

Bio

Full Name: Lewis John Cook

DoB: February 3rd, 1997 (19)

PoB: York, North Yorkshire; England

Nationality: English

Caps & Goals: u/16, 5 Caps | u/17, 15 Caps | u/18, 1 Cap | u/19, 9 Caps

Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Inside Forward, Winger (L/R/C)

Height: 1, 75m

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: A.F.C. Bournemouth

Jersey No: Not Yet Assigned

Contract Expiry: June 30th, 2020

Transfer Fee: £6m + add-ons up to £10m

Former Club: Leeds United Football Club (2014-2016)

Development Nest: Leeds United Youth Academy (2004-2014)

2015/16 Club Stats: 47 Games, 2 Goals & 3 Assists

Total Career Stats: 85 Games, 2 Goals & 5 Assists

GSV Deal Grader: Matt Holland from West Ham United FC to A.F.C. Bournemouth on a Free Transfer in 1994 (4/5)

The Grand Stand View

Leeds United gaffer Garry Monk had withdrawn Cook from the England u/19 squad to compete in the 2016 UEFA European u/19 Championship, as he looked to work with the young starlet for a full pre-season, a decision that could eventually come back to benefit Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth side in the coming season, as they now have enough time to get Lewis up to pace with his new teammates. The England youth international was one of the talented young players who went onto win the 2014 UEFA European Championship in Malta; Lewis Cook is also one of the few players from that successful side to progress into fully fledged professionals, after that breakthrough tournament for many in the team, something that may translate into progress at the senior national team level over time, and with great effort invested.

Strengths

Dynamic young attacking English talents with potential world-class ability often catch the eye, due mainly to the rarity of such talents in English football, Lewis Cook is blessed with that almost unEnglish ability to take on players with his dribbling ability, and create space to be exploited simply via his ability to beat his marker 1v1. Blessed with a high level of creativity, to compliment his impressive technical gifts, Cook uses his attacking gifts extremely well and his movement on and off the ball allows him to remain a constant threat in midfield. While his final product still needs some work, Lewis has the ability to distribute the ball well at the elite level, and create attacking opportunities for his side when he goes on one of his mazy runs, that often destabilise opposition defensive lines.

Weaknesses

The lack of consistency in playing one specific role, where he can acclimate to playing for a prolonged period of time, has hurt Lewis in many ways; while the lad is blessed with the potential to do magical things on the ball, his decision making and anticipation of in-game situations has to improve, if he is to fully translate his potential into regular displays of elite level ability in the Premier League. Final product is a great issue of concern for many gifted young players, the pace of football today is prone to expose a player’s lack of composure or execution, now that one has even less time on the ball; Lewis Cook has to work on his final ball or action in attack, his assists and goals tally is not a true reflection of his ability as a player. If Lewis Cook is to eventually progress into playing his more naturally suited role of the deep-lying playmaker, his tackling and anticipation of space on the defensive end will also need to be worked on, yet there is no denying that the lad has many of the intangible gifts truly needed to flourish in a role that he has all the attacking traits to star in at the elite level.

UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch; Ross Barkley, England

Euro 16 LogoEngalnd Badge

#TheTalentScout

There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!

#YoungGunToWatch

England

#19

Ross Barkley

Bio

DoB: December 5th, 1993 (22)

PoB: Liverpool, England

Nationality: English

Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Winger, Advanced Playmaker, Inside Forward, Trequartista (L/R/C)

Height: 1, 89m

Club: Everton Football Club

Club Career Record: 185 Games, 32 Goals, 23 Assists

National Team Record: 22 Caps, 2 Goals, 3 Assists

The Grand Stand View

England, as a football nation, has long been seen as perennial underachievers on the international stage, due to their shortcomings on the field, particularly at senior national team level. Glimpses of improvement have come in the form of the type of personnel they have decided to start looking at developing and blooding into the national setup again. We saw in Joe Cole how the nation truly missed out on maximising the world-class talent they had at their disposal, mainly due to playing him out of position or in a structure that couldn’t get the best out of him, and afford him the platform he needed to motivate his teammates through his magical talent.

Ross Barkley is a gifted young footballer crafted in the mould of great talents, like the Joe Cole’s and Paul Gascoigne’s before him; blessed with outstanding ability with the ball glued to his feet, Ross can be a potent threat running with the ball, or looking to pick out an advanced teammate with a scrumptious pass. An energetic midfielder who uses his great physicality to compliment his technical skills extremely well, one can easily see England playing great football with Ross at the heart of their attacking moves. A lot has been said about his need to develop an end product to his great all-round attacking play, the lad is still learning at the elite level and his game can only improve with regular football, something he hasn’t had in abundance during the last season at domestic & international levels.

The development of such a great talent has been stalled by some of the same pitfalls that befell Joe Cole, Ross has had to adapt to playing across the midfield over the past couple of seasons, and now much of the confidence that his game is based on is in need of a major boost. Playing a prominent role for the Three Lions in France at EURO 2016, and putting in the type of performances that boost his claim for a stake in the starting unit moving forward, will go a long way to giving his confidence the boost it so desperately needs.

UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch; Eric Dier, England

Euro 16 LogoEngalnd Badge

#TheTalentScout

There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!

#YoungGunToWatch

England

#17

Eric Dier

Bio

Full Name: Eric Jeremy Edgar Dier

DoB: January 15th, 1994 (22)

PoB: Cheltenham, England

Nationalities: English, Portuguese

Position/s: Fullback, Wingback, Ball-Playing Defender, Stopper Defender, Cover Defender, Anchorman, Ball-Winning Midfielder (Right/Centre)

Height: 1, 88m

Club: Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Club Career Record: 149 Games, 9 Goals, 9 Assists

National Team Record: 8 Caps, 2 Goals

The Grand Stand View

The development of Eric Dier, from relatively promising central defender to elite level defensive midfield general has been built off the back of unrelenting work ethic and a determination to succeed, that has culminated in the player we are seeing. Without discrediting the great management of Mauricio Pochettino, who deserves major credit for the evolution we’ve seen Dier undergo, the player himself is worthy of due praise for how he has handled himself and taken his opportunities with both hands, feet and head.

A tough tackling defender who displays great tenacity in tackles, while having the mobility to get about the pitch nullifying threats, Dier has already shown that he can be relied upon as an able foil for a defensive line. The beauty in his versatility is evident when fullbacks press forward, and instead of bombing on himself like many midfielders today, Dier simply slots in between the centre backs and helps to negate any threats on the transition. We can’t question Dier’s future in the game as a defensive midfielder, due to his ability to defend very well and bring balance to a team; but the lad may see his long-term future at centre-back, and that may create a different dynamic in the years to come.

One of the most commendable facets of Dier’s game is that despite his tough tackling approach, he’s only ever been sent off once in his career; his ability to get about putting in challenges while remaining disciplined is key for a footballer who plays in his position. The technical side of his game is forever improving, Dier is very capable of passing the football about and is not merely a defender playing in midfield; his set-pieces are also known to surprise a few ‘keepers and England will be hoping that Eric can bag even more goals for them with his wonderful right peg at set-plays.

UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch; John Stones, England

Euro 16 LogoEngalnd Badge

#TheTalentScout

There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!

#YoungGunToWatch

England

#16

John Stones

Bio

DoB: May 28th, 1994 (22)

PoB: Barnsley, England

Nationality: English

Position/s: Fullback, Wingback, Ball-Playing Defender, Stopper Defender, Cover Defender (Right/Centre)

Height: 1, 88m

Club: Everton Football Club

Club Career Record: 135 Games, 2 Goals, 1 Assist

National Team Record: 10 Caps

The Grand Stand View

Good ball-playing defenders have become the cherry on top that most football managers seek to add when they assemble a side; modern football has reaffirmed that long beheld notion, a defender that can orchestrate attacking moves from the back, or break out of the line with the ball at his feet, remains pivotal to any side that has the intention of playing on the front foot. John Stones has earned rave reviews over the last couple of seasons from many quarters, the gifted young defender has looked every bit the hot prospect he’s being tipped to be, despite some errors that can only aid in his development.

A physically imposing footballer who is very mobile despite his lankier frame, John Stones fuses an all-action approach to defensive duties with impeccable positioning on the field, and a helping of timing in the tackle to make for a defender who can win the ball, and distribute it as well. While he is still growing into his own at the elite level, John has already shown that despite his great offensive skills, the ability and desire to defend first are there and ready to be displayed in abundance. England will want to play a more adventurous game as their current crop of gifted young players begins to hone their niche in the world of football, Stones will be central to any hopes they may have of adopting a more Continental modern-age playing style.

England have the luxury of being blessed with quality footballers in each position, to have a player like John Stones possibly coming in off the bench more than he starts is a testament to the depth of talent within the national pool. Having a quality player like Stones to bring on is something England will treasure in those tight games where one needs to defend a bit harder, while making the most use of any possession one may have to see the result through. While John Stones may not be a guaranteed starter at EURO 2016, the lad will be looking to use this opportunity as part of his learning curve as he continues to develop into one of the finest footballers of his generation.