‘A real player’ - Eddie Howe has revealed what ‘unbelievable specimen’ can bring to Newcastle United

Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly - soon to be wearing black-and-white stripesBournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly - soon to be wearing black-and-white stripes
Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly - soon to be wearing black-and-white stripes | Getty Images
Lloyd Kelly is set to join Newcastle United on a free transfer when his Bournemouth contract expires later this month

Eddie Howe once referred to Lloyd Kelly as a “deep thinker of the game” and “an unbelievable specimen” - years before his Newcastle United arrival.

The Magpies are widely expected to sign the 25-year-old when his Bournemouth contract expires on June 30. NewcastleWorld understands Toon chiefs have agreed a five-year deal for Kelly - fighting off interest from Liverpool.

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The versatile defender, who can operate at left-back or centre-back, will become the club’s first summer signing. Newcastle were light of defensive reinforcements at the back end of last season, with Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles ruled out until Christmas with ACL injuries.

Veteran defender Paul Dummett will leave at the end of this month - leaving room for Kelly to make the switch. His move, as a free transfer, should free up funds for the Magpies to bolster their ranks elsewhere.

It was Howe who first brought Kelly to the Premier League, signing him for Bournemouth from Bristol City five years ago. The Toon boss is set to reunite with the former £13million man - and previously opened up about his “mature” qualities.

“I think he’s handled himself really well,” Howe said about Kelly in 2019. “He’s a very mature character for his age. He is someone who is quite a deep thinker about the game and very serious about his career. He is very driven to do well but in a really good way. 

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“I think he can make a difference as well. I think he’s got real potential to go right to the top. “He is an unbelievable specimen physically. He’s got all the tools to be a real player at this level. It’s just a case that he is going to have to be patient to show that.”

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