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Chris Mepham

Date of birth:
5th November 1997
Date signed:
22nd January 2019
Previous clubs:

Chris Mepham has established himself as a popular member of the AFC Bournemouth squad since joining the club in January 2019.

He became the Cherries’ second permanent signing of the 2018/19 mid-season transfer window when he joined from Brentford.

Mepham was handed his Premier League debut as a substitute in the Cherries’ 4-0 win against Chelsea at Vitality Stadium and made 13 appearances in the top flight in 2018/19, including ten starts.

He scored the Cherries’ first Premier League goal of 2019/20, his second-half strike coming during a 1-1 draw with promoted Sheffield United on the opening day of the season.

Mepham played 14 games in all competitions for the Cherries in 2019/20 before discovering he had damaged knee ligaments during the FA Cup third-round win over Luton Town in January 2020.

He had surgery at the start of the year and again went under the knife in the summer after feeling discomfort following a brief substitute appearance against Newcastle in the Premier League in July.

Mepham hit the ground running at the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign and featured prominently as the Cherries made an impressive start in the Championship.

He netted his second goal for the club during a 1-1 draw against Watford in October 2020, his equaliser at Vicarage Road coming deep in added time.

Mepham started 17 of the Cherries’ first 18 league games before a calf injury robbed him of his place.

He came off the bench in the fifth and sixth rounds of the FA Cup as the Cherries reached the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history.

Mepham replaced Steve Cook on the stroke of half-time as the Cherries registered a 1-0 win over former club Brentford in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.

He was then sent off for pulling down Bryan Mbeumo 28 minutes into the second leg, the Bees going on to triumph 3-2 on aggregate.

Mepham returned in the 2021/22 season to play a notable role under head coach Scott Parker. Largely starting from the bench, Mepham was often substituted on in the latter stages of matches to help the Cherries to important wins. 

In total, he made 24 appearances as the Cherries won promotion to the Premier League for only the second time, Mepham featuring in every position in the backline over the season.

Born in Hammersmith, Mepham started his career in the academy ranks at Chelsea, joining the Blues when he was ten.

Released four years later, he was then turned down by Watford and QPR before he was invited to join the youth set-up at Brentford in 2012. He was spotted by Brentford scouts playing for North Greenford United reserves.

Mepham made three appearances for the Bees youth team before he was offered and signed a scholarship in June 2014.

He penned his first professional deal in February 2016 and was elevated to the club’s development squad. Mepham scored twice in 43 games for the youth team.

Following a series of eye-catching displays for the Brentford B team during the first half of 2016/17, Mepham was handed a two-year contract extension in January 2017.

The following day, he made his first-team debut as an 80th-minute substitute for Harlee Dean in a 5-1 win over Eastleigh in the third round of the FA Cup.

Mepham was named as the club’s B team player of the year in 2016/17 and was promoted to the first-team squad for the 2017/18 season, penning a new five-year contract.

He made his first start for the club in a 3-1 defeat by Norwich in the League Cup in September 2017.

Mepham netted his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw against Championship rivals Sheffield United at Griffin Park in March 2018.

He made 24 appearances in all competitions in 2017/18 and won his first senior cap for Wales during his breakthrough season.

Mepham began 2018/19 as Brentford’s first-choice central defender before he completed his move to Vitality Stadium.

Internationally, Mepham was called into the Wales under-20 squad for the 2017 Toulon Tournament and made one appearance in a 2-2 draw with Ivory Coast in the group stages in June 2017.

He made his full debut for the under-21s in a 3-0 win over Switzerland in an Under-21 European Championship qualifier in September 2017.

Mepham captained Wales under-21s for the first time in a 0–0 qualifying draw with Romania six weeks later.

He won his first senior cap for Wales in their 6-0 win against China in the semi-final of the China Cup in Guangxi in March 2018, replacing Ben Davies in the 70th minute of Ryan Giggs’s first game as manager.

Two months later, Mepham made his first international start in a 0–0 draw with Mexico in a friendly in front of a crowd of more than 82,000 in Pasadena.

Mepham won two further caps when he started UEFA Nations League games against Republic of Ireland and Denmark in September 2018.

He also started European Championship qualifiers against Slovakia in March 2019 and Croatia in June 2019.

Mepham started five Euro 2020 qualifiers, including the 2-0 win over Hungary in Cardiff in November 2019 which clinched a place in the championship finals.

In October and November 2020, he started in Nations League wins against Bulgaria (1-0), Republic of Ireland (1-0) and Finland (3-1) to help Wales win their group and promotion to the top flight.

In March 2021, Mepham won his 15th and 16th caps when he started World Cup qualifiers against Belgium and Czech Republic, Wales losing 3-1 to the Belgians and winning 1-0 against the Czechs.

Mepham continued to play a substantial role for Wales and helped his country to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Wales defeating Ukraine in a play-off in Cardiff.

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