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Bournemouth boss Howe may hold back record signing Lerma

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe may hold back record signing Jefferson Lerma.

Howe thinks Bournemouth would be "foolish" to throw record signing Lerma into the mix in Saturday's Premier League opener against Cardiff.

Colombia midfielder Lerma completed his £25million switch from Levante this week - but boss Howe has revealed the World Cup star is not ready for action.

"Jefferson's only had one training session with us," said Howe.

"He's come to us off the back of not training after the World Cup so that will be an issue for us, in the sense we've got to build up his fitness and help him acclimatise to the team and the squad.

"So there may be a period where people don't see him, but we want to get him up to speed. I'm sure there's other players who were at the World Cup who won't play this weekend.

"The difficulty for us is that Jefferson just hasn't trained. So to involve him ahead of players who have played a full pre-season would be foolish.

"So we've got to make sure that when Jefferson steps onto the field he's ready to play at his best level, so we'll do some work with him behind the scenes.

"If he's not fit enough to play it would be foolish to play him. We would never tell a player to miss the whole of pre-season then step up and play.

"It's just not going to happen. So we'll take our time with him and make sure he's right."

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Paul Vegas

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