CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe believes record signing Jefferson Lerma will be "even better" once he is fully conversant in English.

The Colombian midfielder has made an encouraging start to his Cherries career following his £25million summer move from Levante.

Lerma, who is taking lessons in English, has been man of the match in Cherries' past two games against Watford and Southampton.

Howe said: "I think you can see on the pitch he is communicating well in a way probably not through language but more body language.

"He is getting there with his English and it is improving.

"It hasn't been a major stumbling block for him and we have people who can communicate with him via translators so he will be even better when we can communicate with him directly."

Howe, asked whether Lerma had adapted quicker than he had expected, replied: "I liked him before we signed him and you never quite know how they are going to adapt to the league, their team-mates and me.

"I am very pleased with him at this moment in time and delighted with his form.

"I thought Jeff was excellent against Southampton. He needed to be because we weren't great with the ball and he was responsible for stopping a lot of their counter-attacks.

"Physically, he was very good. He used the ball well when he had it and I thought he gave a great display."