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Published: 10:29 | 10/8/18

Howe delighted with Bournemouth squad


Eddie Howe is pleased with how his Bournemouth team is shaping up ahead of the new Premier League season.

Bournemouth brought in Jefferson Lerma, Diego Rico Salguero and David Brooks, while Harry Arter left to join Cardiff City on loan on transfer deadline day.

Howe is delighted with the club's transfer activity and believes the current squad is the strongest he has had since taking over at the Vitality Stadium.

"There's real competition for places and as I sit here now this could be the strongest squad I've seen at the club," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Cardiff. "But we do not underestimate a strong Cardiff side."

"We're going to need the home crowd heavily involved tomorrow. Any season I'd say the same, the home fans are pivotal. We've always relied on them."

Lerma completed his move to Bournemouth from Levante on Tuesday but after playing four games for Colombia at this summer's World Cup he will not be risked on Saturday.

"Jefferson is not being considered at this stage. There will be other players involved in the World Cup who won't play this weekend. We need to make sure that when Jefferson steps on the pitch he's absolutely ready to perform at the top level.

"He's had one training session with us and has come to us on the back of not training after the World Cup, so we'll need his build his fitness up as he acclimatises with the squad.

"There may be a period of time where fans don't see him but he's one we're very much looking forward to having here with us."

Arter will not feature for Cardiff as he is ineligible to play against his parent club and Howe admits he did not want the Republic of Ireland international to leave.

"It was very difficult. Harry's journey optimises that of the club, where he came from working his way up the leagues in an impressive way with the will and desire to succeed. I can't speak highly enough of him," Howe said.

"The difficulty was that he wanted to play and we felt that we needed to keep him playing. With that in mind we reluctantly agreed to let him go."

The Premier League returns to the eir sport pack as Wolves host Everton at Molineux on Saturday, live on BT Sport 1 [kick-off 5.30pm]. Subscribe here

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