JEFFERSON Lerma’s opening day performance has been recognised by Premier League royalty, with Harry Redknapp and Alan Shearer naming the Cherries favourite in their respective teams of the week.
The former Levante man wasted no time on his return to the top flight, smashing home in the second minute to open his account for the new campaign.
Deployed at the slightly unfamiliar role of centre-back, Lerma was disciplined and combative at the back, helping Cherries to a well-deserved and hard-earned win over Aston Villa.
Whilst there were multiple strong performances from numerous players at the Vitality Stadium, it is Lerma who has been noticed by pundits.
Redknapp was full of praise for both his former club and the Colombian international, telling BetVictor: “That was some performance from Bournemouth.
“They were outstanding on Saturday, and I thought Jefferson Lerma looked fantastic.
“What a start to the season for him, grabbing his goal right at the beginning of the match.
“I think he'll be a big player for the Cherries this season. He's a big and strong lad who impressed, that's for sure.”
Match of the Day pundit Shearer also enthused about Lerma’s performance.
However, he might have been watching a different game, stating how Lerma controlled the midfield battle – despite playing in defence.
He shared on the Premier League’s website: "(Lerma is) back in the Premier League and impressed by scoring the first goal before going on to dominate the midfield battle against Aston Villa."
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 8, 2022
Shearer also selected former Cherry Aaron Ramsdale in goal, after his clean sheet against Crystal Palace last Friday.
Alongside Lerma, both managers agreed that Arsenal’s William Saliba, Fulham’s Aleksander Mitrovic, Tottenham Hotspurs’ Dejan Kulusevski, Brighton’s Pascal Gross, and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland all merited selection in their respective teams of the week.