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Eddie Howe tips Bournemouth signing Jefferson Lerma to excel in Premier League

The 23-year-old midfielder has signed a five-year deal.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe backed Jefferson Lerma to become a Premier League star after the Cherries broke their transfer record to sign the Colombian.

The 23-year-old is understood to have cost £25million from Levante, and Bournemouth announced he has signed a five-year contract.

He leaves his Spanish side after three seasons in which he scored three times in 93 appearances.

Howe said: “It’s no secret that Jefferson has been someone we have chased for a while this summer. It’s been a complicated deal but I am certain it will be worth all the hard work that people have put in to make this happen.

“Jefferson is an extremely talented player and a very good athlete who will bring a different type of play to our midfield. He has a lot of qualities that will be suited to the Premier League and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Chief executive Neill Blake called it “a huge statement for this club”.

Lerma impressed at this summer’s World Cup in Russia and has won nine caps for his country.

The new arrival said: “I’m so happy to be an AFC Bournemouth player. The transfer has been very long because it took a while for the clubs to reach an agreement, but the most important thing is that I am here now and everyone got what they wanted in the end.”

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