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Bournemouth's record signing Lerma to miss Cardiff clash

Bournemouth's record signing Lerma to miss Cardiff clash
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Saransk, Russia - June 19, 2018 Colombia's Jefferson Lerma in action with Japan's Shinji Kagawa REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo   -   Copyright  Ricardo Moraes(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Bournemouth’s record signing Jefferson Lerma is building up his fitness and will not feature in Saturday’s Premier League match against promoted Cardiff City, manager Eddie Howe said on Friday.

The 23-year-old midfielder played in all of Colombia’s matches at this year’s World Cup in Russia and only resumed training following his move to Bournemouth this week.

“Jefferson is not being considered at this stage,” Howe told a news conference. “He’s had one training session with us… so we’ll need to build his fitness up as he acclimatises with the squad.

“There may be a period where fans don’t see him but he’s one we’re looking forward to having here with us… We need to make sure that when he steps on the pitch he’s absolutely ready to perform at the top level.”

Midfielder Junior Stanislas is also out of the match as he strives to get fit following a knee injury.

“We anticipate Junior being about a month away, though we don’t want to be too rigid in that time frame,” Howe added.

“But I think we’ve got the strongest squad we’ve ever had since coming into the Premier League.”

Defender Nathan Ake is in contention after shaking off a toe injury he picked up in pre-season.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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