HAVING already looked at the first four of eight Cherries players who have recently been out on loan, now the spotlight moves to the four who were involved in the Championship promotion race.

Three were ultimately successful. Kieffer Moore finished in the top two with Ipswich Town, while both David Brooks and Joe Rothwell came up via the play-offs with Southampton.

Jaidon Anthony missed out, his Leeds United side beaten by Saints at Wembley.

But that only tells half the story, with the past few months being a mixed bag for the quartet, leaving the futures uncertain for all four.

We spoke with journalists who followed the fortunes of the four and gave some insight into what went well, what did not and whether they could return to those clubs again next season.

Kieffer Moore scored some key goals for Ipswich (Image: PA)


2nd in Championship

18 appearances, 7 goals, 1 assist, 1,148 mins played

After playing a bit-part role in the first half of the season with Cherries, Moore dropped down to the second tier to boost Ipswich’s promotion bid.

The Wales international striker previously had an underwhelming spell with the Tractor Boys, where he failed to find the net during the 2016-17 campaign.

To discuss the 31-year-old’s second stint with Ipswich, we spoke to Alex Jones of the East Anglian Daily Times.

How would you sum up the impact Kieffer Moore had at Ipswich this season?

He did exactly what was required. Ipswich went into January needing a striker after George Hirst’s hamstring injury, with Freddie Ladapo loaned out to Charlton Athletic pretty early on in the transfer window. Ali Al-Hamadi was signed from AFC Wimbledon soon after but was too inexperienced to do it all by himself. 

Moore came in late on in the month but finished the campaign with seven goals and an assist. He played in almost every game, often running himself into the ground.

He played 120 minutes for Wales as they missed out on a place at the Euros on penalties, but still got himself ready to start for Ipswich less than 72 hours later away at Blackburn. 

He battled hard, played through injuries and came up with some big moments that played a huge part in getting Town over the line. They wouldn’t have gone up without him.

What did the fans think when Moore was signed and did he live up to those expectations?

Fans weren’t at all concerned by his previous spell at Ipswich, which was a disaster.

They knew he’d improved massively since then, but were also aware that he’s a different type of striker to Hirst - he’s more physical but less agile. Ultimately, he was brought in as a high-quality option to fill a gap in the team. 

As mentioned, he came in and did the job he was asked to do. He led the line, added physicality in both boxes (he was very useful for defending set-pieces) and scored some vital goals.

He couldn’t have done much more, especially considering that he was coming into a new team with a unique style of play after a long spell of limited minutes.

What was Moore’s standout moment during his loan spell?

His debut springs to mind, even though Ipswich lost the game. He came on at half-time when the Blues were 2-0 down and scored a brace. He should’ve started, in hindsight.

His goals against Rotherham United and Cardiff City were both really well taken, but the clear standout was his strike against Coventry City.

He picked up Wes Burns’ cutback and fired a low show into the net. Ipswich won the game 2-1, which put them on the brink of promotion. It was a really tough game but arguably the defining victory of their season.

Could the club look to sign Moore on a permanent basis this summer?

It’s not impossible, they’ve got the money to do it. I can’t imagine Bournemouth would ask for a huge fee, albeit that his wages would probably be quite high.

It’s hard to see him being a regular starter at Ipswich if he did join, however, and his age profile doesn’t fit the club’s model for permanent signings. His style worked well in the team on a short-term basis, but there are probably players who are better suited to what Kieran McKenna wants.

Personally, I don’t see it happening. I think they’ll go down another route.

He came in, redeemed himself for his last spell and did exactly what was asked for him. I think that’d bring this chapter of his career to an end in a pretty poetic way.

David Brooks started the play-off final at WembleyDavid Brooks started the play-off final at Wembley (Image: PA)


4th in Championship, play-off winners

20 appearances, 2 goals, 6 assists, 1,027 mins played

Cherries were reluctant to let Brooks leave in the January transfer window, but in the end respected the player’s wishes.

He moved up the road to Southampton and got a promotion on his CV, albeit coming off injured in the play-off final.

We spoke with the Southern Daily Echo’s Alfie House about the winger.

How do you assess the impact David Brooks had at Southampton this season?

The quality of David Brooks was evident and he made his contributions with some important goals and assists. Russell Martin labelled him a specialist in his position - but Adam Armstrong was the club’s player of the year in that very same position.

He was a good addition and played well in the final until he was injured but disappeared in a few games where he could have done more.

What did the fans think when Brooks was signed and did he live up to those expectations?

When he came in, I think a lot of fans expected it to be a brilliant addition. There was the question mark over fitness after missing so much football so he was given time to get up to speed and I think he lived up to expectations - but he didn’t exceed them.

Ultimately, everyone gets a glossier reflection with the club achieving their aims.

What was Brooks’s standout moment during his loan spell?

He flicked a ball up and over someone’s head and then skinned another to win a free-kick with his very first touch. That set the tone.

He scored and set up a goal against Birmingham in a 4-3 win, in his best individual performance. Some lesser standouts are failing to shoot at an open goal in the miserable loss at Cardiff and unfortunately for him his dislocated shoulder early into the final.

If he became available, would Saints look to try and bring Brooks back to the club for next season?

If he was available for the right price, I think so.

Saints are exploring options to bolster their attack and they are weak in that area for the Premier League.

Martin joked he would make Brooks sign a lifetime contract to play under him until he retires given the choice. Realistically, I think it’s unlikely any such move happens but Saints I’m sure would be keen.

Joe Rothwell struggled for regular starts at SaintsJoe Rothwell struggled for regular starts at Saints (Image: PA)


4th in Championship, play-off winners

20 appearances, 4 goals, 1 assists, 651 mins played

Struggling for game-time at Cherries, Rothwell too joined Southampton.


Having been a star performer in the Championship for Blackburn Rovers, prior to joining Cherries where he was key in their survival in the 2022-23 season, things did not quite go as hoped for him at Saints, as Alfie House explains.

How would you sum up Joe Rothwell’s loan spell at Southampton?

Flashes of brilliance that will live long in the memory - but otherwise forgettable.

Joe Rothwell was signed as midfield backup and he scored a couple of eerily and brilliantly similar braces into the Chapel stand to win the club points single-handedly.

Won the club’s goal of the season in the process but didn’t play many minutes.

What did the fans think when Rothwell was signed and did he live up to those expectations?

I think Rothwell was met with an unfair scepticism. He was replacing the outgoing Charly Alcaraz who, based on his performances this season, was overrated by some.

Rothwell had a respectable body of Championship work but most supporters ended up being proven right when they thought he wouldn’t be a perfect fit.

What was the main reason behind Rothwell’s lack of regular game-time – his own performances, or performances of others in his position?

A mixture of both. Initially, it was simply being behind Stuart Armstrong in the pecking order.

By the time the Scot was injured, Rothwell’s performances and those of Joe Aribo and Will Smallbone had rearranged the rankings.

Rothwell was only useful in the attacking half of the pitch and it meant he could only play in one of three of Martin’s midfield positions.

With all that in mind, is there any chance Rothwell could be a summer transfer target for Saints?

I think it’s unlikely with Rothwell himself admitting his loan didn’t go to plan.

Rothwell is a good player and Saints are looking at recruiting in that position following the exit of Stuart Armstrong, but are bringing in Adam Lallana for one and linked with others.

If it gets desperate towards the end of the window, maybe they’ll return for a bargain.

Jaidon Anthony scored an emotional goal in the FA Cup (Image: PA)


3rd in Championship

38 appearances, 2 goals, 2 assists, 873 mins played

Anthony featured regularly for Cherries in the early weeks under Andoni Iraola.

However, the club decided to bring in Luis Sinisterra to take his position and suggested he should head the other way on loan.

Anthony spent almost all season as a substitute, failing to get ahead of some very talented wingers ahead of him in the pecking order.

To discuss his season at Elland Road, we asked Beren Cross, who covers the Whites for Leeds Live.

How would you sum up Jaidon Anthony’s loan spell at Leeds?

A frustrating one for him, I’m sure. Jaidon didn’t play anywhere near as much as he would have hoped.

Leeds were pleased to have someone of his ability in reserve, but he never had enough game-time to get to the kind of form that changed games for the Whites.

He struggled for game-time, starting just two league games. Did he deserve more of a chance?

Probably not. Unfortunately for him, Daniel Farke generally considered him as a left winger and that meant he was tussling with Crysencio Summerville for starts.

As the Championship Player of the Year, you couldn’t have picked a more difficult player to compete with.

When Anthony did get on the pitch he never really caught the eye enough to make it much of a debate between him and Summerville.

What did the fans make of Anthony?

Neither here nor there, really. He never got the pitch time he needed to make any lasting impression on fan opinion. He came in, provided depth that was rarely needed, and now heads back to Dorset.

What was Anthony’s standout moment in a Leeds shirt?

Undoubtedly, it was his goal against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup.

Anthony was mourning the loss of his mother, but started that match and scored one of the goals of the season before revealing a message to her under his shirt.

The winger cut in off the left flank, went past two or three defenders before cracking the ball into the far, top corner. Very emotional for all concerned.

Is there any chance Leeds would look to try and bring Anthony back to the club for next season?

It would be a bigger surprise if Anthony wanted to come back.

Leeds could well be open to bringing him back, but it’s hard to see when never showed that x-factor from the bench you need to change games.

Even if they wanted to, Anthony would not come back and expect to play significantly more than he did last season.

(Stats via transfermarkt.co.uk)