Why Jefferson Lerma is an excellent new signing for Bournemouth
Bournemouth have signed Colombia central midfielder Jefferson Lerma from Levante on a five-year deal for a club-record fee of £25million. The 23-year-old played in all of Colombia’s games at this year’s World Cup in Russia, including the last 16 loss to England.
Lerma, who was born in El Cerrito, began his career with Atletico Huila in his homeland and rose through their ranks to become a first-team regular. Between 2013 and 2015, he made 93 appearances for the team, netting 7 goals.
In 2015, Lerma decided to leave Colombia and experience football abroad for the first time, agreeing to join La Liga side Levante on a season-long loan for the 2015/16 campaign. He played mainly as a central midfielder but also filled in at right-back when required. This shows his versatility, which will come in handy for Bournemouth.
He impressed in all 33 matches during his first campaign in Spain, prompting Levante to make his move permanent. He continued to shine with a number of important blocks and interceptions, while his physicality and aerial ability made him a threat from set-pieces. In the last three seasons, he played a total of 93 matches for the Valencia-based club, while scoring 3 goals and providing 4 assists.
What is extremely important for Bournemouth is the fact the 23-year-old can play in a number of positions. While he is a natural central midfielder, he can play on either flank, as well as at right-back.
Lerma 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.”
Lerma might not produce a lot of goals and assists from the get-go but he will surely bring in defensive stability to the side. And taking a look at the squad, he’ll provide serious competition to the likes of Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook, Harry Arter and Andrew Surman.
That said, however, Lerma can often get stuck into challenges which could prove to be cumbersome for Bournemouth. In the last season alone, he received a staggering 17 yellow cards in 28 games in all competitions. However, he’s a great player and seems like an excellent buy for the Cherries at this point.