Chris Mepham today finally signed for Premier League Bournemouth. The fee as per usual was undisclosed but the word is £12m plus add-ons was enough to secure the services of the young Wales international.
The move came after Mepham rejected a reunion with ex Brentford manager Dean Smith. Our (very good) sources have told us that Villa actually bid more than £12m for Mepham (not so good add-ons mind you) and offered a more lucrative personal package. But the West London lad opted for a Premier League move instead and a link-up with Eddie Howe who has a reputation for plucking young talent out and developing them to another level.
The transfer has been in the offing for a year or so – ever since Eddie Howe was seen down at Griffin Park on consecutive match days eying up the young starlet.
— Dan Kirkby (@KirkbyMonahan) January 13, 2018
A surprise to many, Howe put in a bid of £6m for Mepham who barely had a dozen first team games under his belt at the time.
Brentford firmly rejected the deal believing that the player still had a lot of potential. Being one of Ryan Giggs’ golden boys in the Wales international set up, it was figured if clubs valued him at £8m then, he would be worth much more in a year or two’s time.
Bournemouth came in once again in the summer offering £10m which was rejected once again.
Having being picked up by the Brentford B-team after having being dropped by Chelsea academy and rejected by his boyhood club QPR, Mepham played 39 games for the Brentford first team. He was Brentford’s late technical director Rob Rowan’s most proud developments – having given him a well defined path from the B-team to the Brentford first team.
Assistant coach Kev O’Connor enthused to us at last year’s Beesotted Xmas Bees-Up (below) about about Chris’ unbelievable work ethic. He felt that his unbelievable work attitude alone would get him a long way – never mind his technical ability.
Mepham leaves Brentford with Bees fans blessing. An old head on a young pair of shoulders, he always gave 100% commitment in his short playing career for The Bees. I have always said that England scouts missed a trick allowing this young lad to be snapped up by Wales early doors. Brentford were obviously not fashionable enough at the time for them.
No doubt, we will be seeing much more from Chris in the near future. Little did he know when this season started that he would most likely be running out against Arsenal twice at The Emirates this season.
Best of luck on the South Coast son.
Hopefully we’ll see you in a year or two.
We will be chatting about the Mepham transfer on this week’s Pride of West London podcast which will go live on Friday at 7am. We have a very special guest so make sure you subscribe right (below on apple podcasts, google podcasts or spotify) to have it downloaded to your phone or laptop first thing.
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