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Bournemouth winger Jaidon Anthony relishing prospect of first Premier League season

Twelve months ago, Jaidon Anthony hoped he had done enough in prep to impress Scott Parker and maybe get some more playing time for Bournemouth in the Championship.

He got that and a lot more. The winger has played in all but one of the league games and sparked a stunning breakthrough as the Cherries sealed a triumphant return to the Premier League.

The 22-year-old fitted Parker’s plans perfectly, scoring eight goals and adding six more as Bournemouth led Nottingham Forest to automatic promotion in a tense last week.

Jaidon Anthony enjoyed an outstanding breakthrough in 2021-22 when Bournemouth were automatically promoted back to the Premier League.  He scored eight goals and assisted six more

Jaidon Anthony enjoyed an outstanding breakthrough in 2021-22 when Bournemouth were automatically promoted back to the Premier League. He scored eight goals and assisted six more

Electric winger Anthony fitted perfectly into Scott Parker's game plan and they can be seen during the celebrations following Bournemouth's promotional win over Nottingham Forest

Electric winger Anthony fitted perfectly into Scott Parker’s game plan and they can be seen during the celebrations following Bournemouth’s promotional win over Nottingham Forest

Anthony is never one to stand still for too long, especially when he’s ripping through opponents on the left wing.

That’s the right mindset, as the match computer hasn’t exactly blessed Bournemouth with a soft landing on their Premier League return after a two-year absence.

They open at home to Aston Villa on Saturday but then face daunting trips to Manchester City and Liverpool on either side of a meeting with Arsenal. Welcome back to the big time!

“I have a feeling that every game will be difficult, but to get all those big teams in the beginning,” said Anthony Sports post on the eve of the new season.

“But you never know what you’re going to get at the start of the season, it could be a good time to catch them.

Anthony (left) celebrating with Lewis Cook (center) and Jordan Zemura (right) after Bournemouth scored against Bristol City on their promotion run

Anthony (left) celebrating with Lewis Cook (center) and Jordan Zemura (right) after Bournemouth scored against Bristol City on their promotion run

Now Anthony (pictured with Jamal Lowe) is gearing up for his first Premier League campaign

Now Anthony (pictured with Jamal Lowe) is gearing up for his first Premier League campaign

Difficult start of cherries

Saturday Aston Villa (H)

August 13 City (A)

20th of August Arsenal (H)

August 27 Liverpool (A)

August 31th Wolves (H)

September 3 Nottingham Forest (A)

“That’s how I go in, I want to impress and hopefully get some points on the board.

“I always get a kick out of playing in front of big crowds, showing what I can do and hopefully I’ll thrive on that energy.

“There is no fear at all. There is nothing to be afraid of, it is after all a game of football.

“We know they have quality players, but in our time we can play a good game against everyone and that will be our attitude in all games.”

Hailing from Hackney in London and spending time in Arsenal’s academy as a teenager, Anthony made his first breakthrough in the Bournemouth squad during 2020-21 under Jason Tindall and then Jonathan Woodgate.

But when Horace Danjuma moved to Villarreal, Parker saw a ready-made replacement on the left flank in Anthony and his faith was certainly paid back.

It has been a curious season for Bournemouth at times. Under intense pressure to return to the top division, they got off to a great start and went unbeaten until their 16th game against Preston on November 2.

That sparked a shaky mid-season that raised fears that they would be reassigned to the uncertainty of the playoffs.

Bournemouth players enjoy the promotion celebrations at the end of last season

Bournemouth players enjoy the promotion celebrations at the end of last season

Anthony played all but one game of the Bournemouth Championship in a great season

Anthony played all but one game of the Bournemouth Championship in a great season

Jaidon Anthony Fact File

Anthony was born and raised in Hackney. He spent 10 years in the academy at Arsenal, along with the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson.

Arsenal released him at 16 but found a way back into the game thanks to Godfrey Torto and the Ask Godders Group.

The winger signed for Bournemouth academy after a successful trial in 2016 and worked his way up to the first team.

Made his first-team debut in December 2020, playing seven times that season under Jason Tindall and Jonathan Woodgate.

Scott Parker promoted Anthony to key first-team player for 2021-22 and the winger scored eight goals as Bournemouth secured their return to the Premier League.

But they found a second wind, losing just one of their last 14 games to come alongside Parker’s old club Fulham. A 1-0 home win over Forest in the final week of the season brought them over the line.

‘It was a crazy year’, Anthony recalls. “I was hoping to play as many games as possible, so it was more than I hoped to get away after 45 games in the league.

‘In order to then also achieve success, I was buzzing with the whole year.

“I didn’t just want to be a passenger on the team, I wanted to make an impact.

“I was happy with the numbers and to be honest I thought I could have seen a lot more. Hopefully I can keep improving my final product.

“Scott has been the best with me since he came in. He instilled that belief in me and hopefully I have paid it back on the pitch and I will continue to try to do that.

“Every time I go out on the field I feel like I’m giving 100 percent and that will never change.

“It’s a great relationship and hopefully we can create more good memories together.”

Those numbers were especially impressive when paired with Jordan Zemura, an international left-back from Zimbabwe.

The team lost only two out of 32 matches when Anthony and Zemura teamed up, the Bournemouth Daily Echo calculated, and the team’s points average rose from 1.91 overall to 2.33 last season when they played together.

Despite the arrival of Marcus Tavernier from Middlesbrough this week, Parker would do well to stick with this successful partnership.

“We got through it together, we were with the 21-year-olds and then signed pro,” says Anthony.

Anthony, Zemura and Lowe welcome new signing Marcus Tavernier to Bournemouth

Anthony, Zemura and Lowe welcome new signing Marcus Tavernier to Bournemouth

Anthony and agent Godfrey Torto mark Bournemouth's return to the Premier League

Anthony and agent Godfrey Torto mark Bournemouth’s return to the Premier League

‘We played a lot of football together and developed that understanding. I think we are also so close to the field.

“I know what he wants and he knows what I want, so we’ve always managed to do well together, nurture each other well and support each other.”

Parker encouraged a forefoot style last season which allowed Bournemouth to dominate a large number of games in the Championship.

But there has been an acceptance around the camp that the Cherries will not be able to control procedures in the Premier League in the same way.

Unfortunately, it is the fate of any newly promoted side that they are automatically favored by experts and bookmakers only to go right back down. Bournemouth is no exception.

Cherries manager Scott Parker has been working hard on customizable game plans as they prepare to step back into the Premier League

Cherries manager Scott Parker has been working hard on customizable game plans as they prepare to step back into the Premier League

‘He [Parker] is very big on how it’s going to be a step up and you could see a different play style from us in certain games,” explains Anthony.

“We’ve worked hard to be good at the things we need, like rules of the game. Hopefully we can be successful in our new methods and prove many people wrong.

‘We have to adapt. Our game plan is still to dominate the ball in games, but we understand that the level is going up and there are many teams that will try to dominate us.

“It’s about adapting to a different style and being hard to beat. That’s something we’ve been working on.

“Without faith it won’t be possible and in our squad we have the utmost confidence in ourselves about what we can achieve.”

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