Lerma overtakes former Chelsea star Nathan Ake as the club’s most expensive signing in history. As a result, the fans will have high expectation from the Colombian midfielder, who has recently represented his country in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
But, what exactly will he bring to the table for Bournemouth next season?
What he can add to the table
Lerma has gathered a decent amount of experience in the Spanish top flight since moving to Spain. After initially joining Levante on loan in 2015, Lerma’s move was quickly made permanent the following season. And since then, the 23-year-old has become a vital part of the Granotas‘ midfield.
A quick-footed operator in the centre of the pitch, the Colombian international is known for his sharp tackling and immense physical prowess. In fact, he averaged 3 tackles in La Liga last term, which is definitely an impressive statistic as far as central midfielders are concerned.
But, what makes Lerma such an appealing addition to Bournemouth is his ability to stop counter-attacks, largely thanks to his intelligence and good decision-making in midfield. He made 2 interceptions per game and was an integral figure in midfield as Levante narrowly survived relegation.
While he may not be the most gifted passer in the team, his commitment and tenacity are tailor-made for the physically astute Premier League.
Especially for a team like Bournemouth, who heavily relies on the counters, Lerma will be an ideal addition given his qualities in tackling and his ability to work hard in midfield.
How will Eddie Howe utilize him?
Jefferson Lerma will be a huge upgrade to the likes of Harry Arter and Andrew Surman. Both the players lack the qualities to thrive in the Premier League, which is growing in quality. Thus, the Colombian’s experience coupled with his undoubted talent will prove to be influential for the Cherries next season.
Coach Eddie Howe has used various different formations last season but if he opts to go with a 3-4-2-1, then Lerma can be deployed alongside Lewis Cook in central midfield. He can also be accommodated in a similar position even in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Regardless of the formation, however, Lerma is destined to feature alongside Cook next season. His robust style of play will be well complemented by Lewis Cook’s industry in midfield, which is sure to drive AFC Bournemouth next season.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored