CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe said the opportunity to sign goalkeeper Ryan Allsop was “too good to turn down”.

Allsop, who was a free agent following the expiry of a short-term contract with Leyton Orient, yesterday penned a three-and-a-half year deal at Dean Court.

Birmingham-born Allsop progressed through the ranks at West Brom and was capped five times by England under-17s during his time at the Hawthorns.

The 20-year-old joined Orient on a six-month deal in July and quickly established himself as first-choice at Brisbane Road, only to lose his place after he had turned down three new contract offers.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “Ryan is a talented young goalkeeper and has got all the attributes. He is 6ft 3ins and a very good shot-stopper and kicker.

“I know Russell Slade and Leyton Orient were very disappointed to lose him, which says something about his potential.

“He is certainly one for the future but he is also good enough to play now so he will come into the mix immediately.

“We are delighted he chose us ahead of other clubs because he had several options on the table. I don’t think the chance to sign him on a free transfer would have come up again and I think he represents very good value for the football club. We felt it was too good an opportunity to turn down so we took it.”

Allsop performed well during Orient’s 2-0 defeat at Dean Court in October and is understood to have caught the eye of Howe – who was unveiled as Cherries manager ahead of kick-off.

He joined Millwall in May 2011 but did not feature in the first team at the Den before signing for Orient after making 10 appearances for Icelandic club Hottur.

His arrival brings to five the number of goalkeepers on the books at Dean Court with Allsop joining David James, Shwan Jalal, Darryl Flahavan and Benjamin Buchel.

Howe added: “He is someone we have tracked for a while and, hopefully, he will have a long and successful career with us.

“We have a good pool of goalkeepers here. What we are looking toward now is the future and only one of those (Jalal) is under contract to us for next season.

“We are looking not just at this season but at the seasons beyond.”