AFC Bournemouth have completed their second signing of the summer, Leganés left-back Diego Rico, subject to international clearance.
Rico broke into the Real Zaragoza squad in 2013 before making the move to Leganés in 2016, Rico made 58 appearances in all competitions for Leganés as they finished in mid-table of Spain’s La Liga last season.
The deal was completed shortly after he successfully passed his medical at Dean Court.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 24, 2018
The transfer fee is officially undisclosed but has been widely reported at around £10.7million.
The 25-year-old has signed a four-year contract to make the move from Madrid to the south coast of England.
Hoy es un gran dia, un gran paso en mi carrera deportiva gracias al bournemouth por el esfuerzo y la confianza que a puesto en mi desde el principio. #vamosbournemouth????????⚽️.
Today is a… https://t.co/UAteC2JqP1
— diego rico salguero (@diegorico_3) July 24, 2018
The deal was announced on Tuesday evening, with Rico modelling the Cherries new third strip, described as “beach glass”.
Looking super cool, @diegorico_3! ????
— AFC Bournemouth ???? (@afcbournemouth) July 24, 2018
He will compete with Charlie Daniels for the left-back role in the Cherries team this season, further pushing former Liverpool left-back Brad Smith down the pecking order.
Brad Smith has failed to make any real impact on the first team squad since his £3million move in 2016.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“Diego is a player we have been tracking throughout the summer, and although we had to be patient, it’s great to finally be able to call him an AFC Bournemouth player.
“He’s a really nice footballer and someone who will fit our philosophy and style of play.
“Diego is fast, physical, aggressive in attack and aggressive defensively. He takes an excellent set piece and has a powerful left foot.
“Once he gets used to the way we play, we believe he can be a real force for this football club.”
There were games where it felt like Daniels was flagging last season but then since he’s essentially carried the Left-Back load alone since we got promoted, it isn’t a huge surprise. Having an option that’s ready to step straight into the first team there is something we desperately need.
Funnily enough, the best left back performance I saw from us last season came from Adam Smith filling in there. However, our right back resources are even scarcer so he can’t be considered anything more than an emergency option.
As for Brad Smith… sometimes it just isn’t meant to be. Unless he can be pushed forward to play a more attacking role for the next season and then be the second option when Daniels hangs up his boots I think he may struggle to even get a chance to try and show what he can do. Being realistic though, he’s 24 and essentially hasn’t played for two seasons so for the sake of his career he should move on … I’m sure there are a number of Championship sides on the lookout for an attacking Left Back. – Join the conversation, click here.