AFC Bournemouth raised a few eyebrows with their summer acquisitions over the summer. The signings of David Brooks for £11.5million and Diego Rico for around £10million had already been completed before the Cherries doubled their spending to sign defensive midfielder Jefferson Lerma for £25 million from Levante.
The fee broke AFC Bournemouth’s transfer record, which had previously stood at £20million for Nathan Ake from Chelsea.
But despite being the clubs record signing, Jefferson Lerma had to bide his time to make his debut after his World Cup exploits in Russia with his national side, instead, Andrew Surman and Dan Gosling started the season in the heart of the Cherries midfield.
But once Lerma grabbed the shirt, after being given his debut in the EFL Cup against the side from stadium: MK, he hasn’t let it go.
He has now made 5 Premier League appearances totalling 436 minutes.
Statistics website whoscored.com has him averaging 7.23 out of 10 for his performances thus far this season, second only to Callum Wilson and ahead of Ryan Fraser who has taken both the August and September player of the month votes.
At 23-years-old, in a new team, playing in a new league and living in a new country, whilst learning the language, it has been an impressive start to his AFC Bournemouth career and certainly hasn’t faulted under the pressure of his price tag.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe also believes he will only get better as he told the Daily Echo…
“His understanding of what we are asking him to do and his understanding of the league is improving all the time.
“From when he joined us to now, I think we have seen an improvement in his performances in every game…”
“…He’s very good with the ball. For us to sign a midfielder who is not technically good would be impossible given how we play.
“A couple of the passes he made (against Watford) were very good and that shows promise for the future because the more we work with him and the more he understands what we want, the better he is going to get.”
We have a long season left and, a lot of games against the top 6 upcoming. Very excited and proud of the Cherries so far. Love the style of play and I know it’s been said however Lerma is the difference maker so far. His physical play and presence in the midfield have been the critical link we’ve been missing. He springs the breakout so effectively. – Join the conversation, click here.