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First team

El Cerrito to Bournemouth: Lerma in profile


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Colombian midfielder Jefferson Lerma is now officially an AFC Bournemouth player.

Supporters know that the 23-year-old has signed from Levante for a club-record fee, but how much do we know about Lerma the player?

Here, afcb.co.uk take a look back at his career so far and his journey from El Cerrito in Colombia to Vitality Stadium.

Early years (2010-2015)

Living in Colombia for the majority of his life, Lerma was born in El Cerrito, Valle del Cauca - which translates into English as 'The Small Hill'.

From there, the midfielder started his evolution as a player with Atletico Huila, based in Neiva. Huila are one of the youngest clubs in Colombia, having been formed in 1990.

Progressing through their ranks, Lerma was handed his senior debut back in 2013 for the club at the age of 18.

Despite his tender age, his ability was there for all to see in Colombia - he played 20 times in his first professional season with the club.

Levante (2015-2018)

In 2015, Lerma decided to leave Colombia and experience football abroad for the first time, agreeing to join La Liga outfit Levante on a season-long loan deal for the 2015/16 campaign, where he played as a central midfield player as well as filling in at right-back as well.

Following 33 appearances in his first season in Europe, Levante swiftly made the move permanent for €600,000.

His reputation continued to blossom with a number of important blocks and interceptions during his time in Valencia, and his physicality and aerial prowess also made him a threat from set pieces.

An impressive cameo against Real Madrid also earned him praise from Los Blancos’ president, Florentino Perez.

With his popularity growing in Europe, it was soon time for the national team to call up the beast.

Colombia (2017-present)

One of the newer names in coach Jose Peckerman's squad, Lerma made his full international debut in a friendly with Korea Republic in November 2017.

By that stage, the country's qualification for the World Cup in Russia was secure, so the tireless midfielder was in a race against time to impress prior to the tournament.

But it was a test he passed with flying colours, earning his place at the tournament and also playing in all four of his country’s games in Russia.

His first appearance saw him play 90 minutes against Japan, before he came off the bench against Poland and Senegal.

Lerma was then entrusted from the start in the fiesty last-16 game against England.

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