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First Team

Cherries complete Zabarnyi coup


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth have completed the signing of highly-rated Ukraine international Illia Zabarnyi from Dynamo Kyiv.

The 20-year-old central defender becomes the club’s fifth January transfer window addition following the arrivals of Dango Ouattara, Darren Randolph, Antoine Semenyo and Matías Viña.

Zabarnyi, who has been capped 24 times by his country, has penned a five-and-a-half-year deal at Vitality Stadium.

AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake told the club website: “We are absolutely delighted to bring Illia to the club and he arrives with a burgeoning CV.

“Despite only being 20, he has played at the highest level for club and country and has established himself as one of the most sought-after young defenders in the world.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing him continue his development with us and know he will be a valued and important member of our squad.”

Born in the Ukrainian capital, Zabarnyi progressed through the ranks at his hometown club and made his first-team debut just ten days after his 18th birthday in September 2020.

During an eye-catching breakthrough season, he played a starring role as Dynamo Kyiv won a 16th Ukrainian Premier League title as well as the Ukrainian Cup and Super Cup.

Zabarnyi also made his entrance on the international stage in 2020/21 and was handed his debut by Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko in a friendly against France.

A memorable campaign for the teenager ended with him starting five games at Euro 2020, including Ukraine’s 4-0 defeat by England in the quarter-finals.

Zabarnyi continued his impressive form for club and country last season, starting all six games in the group stage of the Champions League for Dynamo Kyiv and featuring for Ukraine in World Cup qualifying.

He faced new Cherries teammate Ryan Christie as Ukraine triumphed 3-1 against Scotland in the semi-final at Hampden Park in June before lining up against Kieffer Moore as Wales pipped them to a place in Qatar after winning 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium.

Zabarnyi netted once in 50 league games for Dynamo Kyiv and played 21 times for the club in the Champions League and nine in the Europa League.

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