Bournemouth star ready to try different roles for Colombia
Jefferson Lerma says he is open to playing as a holding or box-to-box midfielder for Colombia as he prepares to take on Chile in a friendly on Saturday.
Bournemouth’s 24-year-old midfielder has been close to an ever-present for the Cherries in the Premier League, starting seven of the eight matches and coming off the bench in the 3-1 home win over Everton on September 15.
He has operated in a central role alongside summer signing Philip Billing in Eddie Howe’s 4-4-2 formation, but his national team boss has used him slightly differently.
Colombia head coach Carlos Quieroz utilised Lerma as the deepest of three central midfielders against Ecuador in last month’s international break and pundits are expecting Lerma to be handed the ‘number five’ role when Los Cafeteros take on Chile in Alicante.
The ex-Levante star, who was in and out of Quieroz’s selection at the Copa America over the summer, is hoping that he can nail down a starting spot ahead of the World Cup qualifiers that get under way in 2020.
He told reporters: “Everything is about work – every time you come to the national team you think you are doing things well because those who are in better form come. I always try to take advantage of the opportunity. In some moments I have played as a ‘five’ or I have played a mixed role, They are not alien positions for me. Wherever I play, I will do my best.”
Colombia face Algeria in another friendly In Lille next week and Cherries fans will be hoping Lerma avoids any injury before he returns to the south coast to prepare for Bournemouth’s Premier League match against Norwich on October 19.
Speaking about the differences of representing his club and country, he added: “It’s different because here you have to take what the coach wants on board as quickly as possible. In the club you have more time to learn many things.”
Simon Barlow has a wealth of journalism experience and in-depth knowledge in a number of sports. As well as his extensive football knowledge, Simon is also well versed on cricket, tennis, American Football and cycling amongst others.