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First team

Team news: Rico available for Chelsea


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Left-back Diego Rico is available for selection at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and manager Eddie Howe was impressed with the debuts of both Rico and Jefferson Lerma on Tuesday night.

The incoming duo both started and played the full 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup match with MK Dons.

After serving his three-game suspension, which carried over from his final Leganes match in La Liga last season, full-back Rico can now be picked for the Chelsea match.

Rico was joined at Vitality Stadium in midweek by club-record signing Lerma, both new men looking sharp against the Dons, with Howe impressed by their impact.

“I was very pleased with both of them,” he said. “They fitted in really well with the team and they produced very cohesive performances, you wouldn’t have known they were debuts.

“It’s good for me because you have competition for places, players will know they need good performances to stay in the team, that’s what every manager craves.

"It gives you problems too as a manager, but I’m looking forward to that battle in the squad.”

The Bournemouth manager explained that he does have a couple of concerns ahead of the Chelsea match, without revealing the players in question.

He said: “We have a couple of knocks from Tuesday night, so we’ll see how a couple of players are ahead of the game, but I won’t say who they are.”

The loan window for EFL clubs to sign players closes later on Friday, though Howe mentioned that he won’t be losing any of his first-team players.

“There will be no members of the first-team squad going out on loan today, but there may be some movement in the development squad,” he said.

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