Lerma not ready for Premier League debut - Howe

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe will not be picking the club's record signing Jefferson Lerma against Cardiff City in the Premier League.

Published : Aug 10, 2018 17:44 IST

Jefferson Lerma is not ready to make his Premier League debut for Bournemouth, says manager Eddie Howe.

Colombia international Lerma became the club's record signing when Bournemouth paid a reported £25million to sign the midfielder from Levante.

But the 23-year-old, who signed a five-year deal, will take time to get up to speed at his new club.

"Jefferson is not being considered at this stage," Howe told reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Cardiff City.

"There will be other players involved in the World Cup who won't play this weekend. We need to make sure that when Jefferson steps on the pitch he's absolutely ready to perform at the top level.

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"He's had one training session with us and has come to us on the back of not training after the World Cup, so we'll need to build his fitness up as he acclimatises with the squad. 

"There may be a period of time where fans don't see him but he's one we're very much looking forward to having here with us."

Harry Arter is ineligible to face Bournemouth on Saturday after joining Cardiff on loan in a deadline-day deal, the Republic of Ireland midfielder leaving the Cherries after eight years.

"It was very difficult," Howe said. "Harry's journey optimises that of the club, where he came from working his way up the leagues in an impressive way with the will and desire to succeed. I can't speak highly enough of him.

"The difficulty was that he wanted to play and we felt that we needed to keep him playing. With that in mind we reluctantly agreed to let him go."

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