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First Team

Lloyd Kelly is "too good for this level"


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Scott Parker has lavished praise on Cherries skipper Lloyd Kelly ahead of this weekend’s fixture with Fulham.

Whilst sitting down with the media ahead of Saturday’s game, Parker took time to recognise the importance of the central defender.

In his effusive praise, he described the Cherries as being “blessed” to have Kelly and said he believes he is “too good for this level.”

Parker revealed: "I think Lloyd Kelly has got the attributes and the ability to be a top Premier League centre-half. And I think we are blessed and very, very lucky to have someone of his quality, really.

"You take players like Lloyd probably for granted in the sense of he makes things look very effortless and easy.

"And when you're watching him on the eye, you put someone else in that position of a ball down the side of a defender or one in the channel and getting in a foot race, he makes it look very easy, that you probably never appreciate it.

"The standards he sets are very high as a captain of this team and he's still so young in his age that he's got a lot on him.”

Kelly has made 37 appearances in all competitions this season and was rewarded for his important role in the squad by being named club captain in January.

At the age of just 23, Kelly is the youngest captain in the division, with only Barnsley’s Mads Andersen also being under the age of 25.

Parker continued: “Lloyd Kelly is one of the first on this teamsheet, that’s the facts. And why is that? It's because I believe he's too good for this level, to be honest with you. And he's a top, top centre half."

“The responsibility on Lloyd Kelly is enormous, absolutely enormous.

"He's the captain of this side, at a very young age. The first time he's ever done that. And those experiences he's probably facing on a day-to-day basis are probably very different.

"So he's learning on that. The responsibility I put on him in this team in terms of first phase build up and what he needs to bring - high line, aggressive.

"If at times we go one for one on the top line with Lloyd Kelly, that's the ability of the boy that I can take risks. We can just say, let's go one for one on the top line, you're up against Lloyd Kelly.

"I believe that you give someone against him ten opportunities, he's not going to lose out on many.

"There's not many players you can do that with, to be honest with you. So that's big responsibility on him.

"And at times, of course, like anyone in young development, you need some support. You need to know that you have the support of everyone. And Lloyd's got that.

"He's got that from me, definitely. Without a shadow of a doubt, he's got that from the staff and the other players and he's doing just fine.

"He's one of the main reasons why we sit where we sit in this division, for sure."

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Press conferences

Parker faces media ahead of Fulham

He makes things look very effortless and easy.

Scott Parker

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