Do it Howe – Completing this £16m deal could be a massive statement of intent from Bournemouth

According to reports, Premier League club Bournemouth have made a £16m bid for Levante’s Colombian ace, Jefferson Lerma.

Lerma, 23, moved to Spain in the summer of 2015 from Atletico Huila in his native Colombia. He made 28 appearances for Levante last season as they finished 15th in La Liga.

Bournemouth need reinforcements if they are to make progress in the next Premier League season. Eddie Howe’s Cherries have had a quiet summer in the transfer market so far. They are yet to make a signing and their only transfer dealing saw them sell Benik Afobe to newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Howe has reportedly turned his attention to the Levante star to add some much-needed muscle and bite to the Bournemouth midfield. The 23-year-old, who has been named in Colombia’s 23-man squad for Russia, is predominantly a defensive midfielder but can also play as a centre-back and a right-back.

Lerma is prone to picking up bookings due to his recklessness and aggressive style of play. He collected a whopping 19 bookings in 28 games last season. However, he is a beast in the midfield and would only help Bournemouth in their cause next season.

The Cherries lack an intimidating defensive midfielder in their ranks. The likes of Harry Arter, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook and Andrew Surman are all central midfielders and while they are capable of playing in a deeper role, they lack the qualities of a cultured defensive midfielder.

That makes Jefferson Lerma’s signing quite important for Bournemouth. The Colombian would sit in front of the defence and dictate the tempo of the game with his passing abilities. A tough tackler, the 23-year-old would add a robust flavour in the middle of the park, giving Howe the tactical flexibility to opt for 4-3-3 formation next season.

Lerma is strong, physical and a no-nonsense player who has the ability to also slot in at the back if required. He will also bring with him a good amount of experience which will prove to be vital for Bournemouth. Intimidating and powerful, the 23-year-old has all the makings to be a success in the Premier League and he would suit Howe’s style of football at the Vitality Stadium.

The only weakness in Lerma’s game is his unnecessary habit of picking up yellow cards. Granted, a defensive midfielder has to be a tough tackler, but the Colombian must be a tad subtle to succeed in the Premier League.

If Lerma can iron out his reckless approach under Howe, he could be a fantastic long-term investment for the Cherries.

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