It’s a deal! Alex Paulsen completes move from Phoenix to Bournemouth

posted in: A-League (Men), News

Goalkeeper Alex Paulsen has completed a landmark move to the English Premier League after a breakthrough season for the Wellington Phoenix.

The young goalkeeper has signed with A.F.C. Bournemouth, who recently finished 12th in their seventh season in English football’s top flight.

Though the transfer fee has not been disclosed, the Phoenix say it is the biggest outgoing transfer in their club’s history, eclipsing Sarpreet Singh’s move to German giants Bayern Munich in 2019.

Reports have speculated the fee is about NZ$4 million.

“I’m humbled to be considered worthy of signing with A.F.C. Bournemouth in the Premier League,” Paulsen said.

How Bournemouth welcomed Alex Paulsen to their club through social media.

“It means the world to me, my family and to my friends to be offered an opportunity to play in the best league on the planet, which most aspiring young footballers only dream of.

“Sarpreet, Libby Cacace and Ben Waine have laid the stepping stones for young New Zealand footballers like myself to dream big and be like ‘the world is our oyster’.”

Paulsen (21) played every minute of Wellington’s 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League campaign, having been limited to just five first team appearances in his first two years as a professional.

He kept a club record 11 clean sheets in 27 league matches this season and also saved three penalties, denying Adam Taggart, Jamie Maclaren and Ulises Dávila from the spot.

His performances have seen him receive numerous accolades.

Paulsen scooped three gongs at the Phoenix awards night in April, he was voted captain of the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) team of the year last month and was named the A-League goalkeeper of the year, joint winner of the young A-League footballer of the year award and fans’ A-League player of the year.

Alex Paulsen also started in goal for the A-League All Stars in their 8-0 demolition of Newcastle United last month.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve achieved alongside the club in what was the Phoenix’s most successful season.

“Without the trust and belief from the club, my teammates and staff I don’t think I would have been able to obtain and meet a lot of my personal objectives and goals.

“However, I am my own worst critic and I am obsessed with wanting to improve, so I really want to use this season as a foundation to scale up and take it to another level.”

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: “We’re very pleased to secure Alex’s services. He’s an exciting prospect with so much potential, and his development has been clear for all to see during an excellent season in the A-League.

“We look forward to welcoming Alex to Bournemouth in early July, where we plan to introduce him to Andoni and the rest of the team before he departs for what will be a great opportunity to represent his country at the Olympics.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Goalkeeper Alex Paulsen farewells Phoenix fans ahead of transfer move >>>>

WATCH: The saves that helped earn Alex Paulsen his move to Bournemouth >>>>

Giancarlo Italiano … ‘it shows what we’re building here.’

Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano is “stoked” for Paulsen.

“I’m really proud AP’s scored such a big deal with such a big club in the world’s best league,” Italiano said.

“It shows what we’re building here at the Phoenix by helping a young player move to a Premier League club.

“His move aligns perfectly with the club’s transfer strategy. The goal from day one was playing the young guys, getting them in the shop window and giving them the ability to progress to the next level.”

They are sentiments shared by the club’s director of football Shaun Gill.

“We are all thrilled for AP,” Gill said. “As well as being an exceptionally talented goalkeeper, he works incredibly hard on his game and is a great human being.

“We’ve seen him grow into the player and person he is now since joining the academy as a 15-year-old, and it’s fantastic the Phoenix have been able to help him secure a dream move to the Premier League.

“It shows there’s a clear pathway for young Kiwi footballers to come through our academy, play for the Nix and then make the step up to the very highest level.

“We look forward to helping more players realise their dreams of playing abroad.”

Alex Paulsen … a breakthrough season in the men’s A-League.

Born in New Zealand to a South African father and Namibian mother, Paulsen started his career with Auckland-based Onehunga Sports who had a partnership with Wellington Phoenix.

Paulsen was elevated to the first-team ranks at Wellington after being named the most valuable player while playing for the club’s reserves in the National League in 2020/21.

A graduate of the Phoenix academy, Paulsen first shot to prominence when he starred in New Zealand’s 1-0 win against Canada at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019.

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