SKIPPER Simon Francis believes Cherries is the “perfect club” for summer signing Lloyd Kelly to flourish in the Premier League.

The England under-21 international signed from Championship Bristol City for a reported £13million in May – ahead of representing the Young Lions in this summer’s European Under-21 Championship.

Champions’ League winners Liverpool had previously been linked with the promising defender, who is set to join up with Eddie Howe’s squad over the next few days to begin his pre-season.

And Francis, who continues to recover from a serious knee injury, is looking forward to welcoming the 20-year-old into the group.

Quizzed on new recruit Kelly, the club captain told the Daily Echo: “I saw him a couple of times last season at Bristol City and I know he impressed there. He has certainly got a huge future ahead of him.

“He looks a typical Bournemouth player that I know the manager likes to sign, especially with his age and his quality on the ball.

“I think it’s the perfect club for him and hopefully he can progress here and become the top player I’m sure he will be.”

He added: “I watched him in the England under-21 game against Croatia and I thought he was excellent. I know he made a small error for a goal but on the ball I thought he was really tidy.

“I think he will fit in perfectly. He seems like a really nice lad from what I’ve heard from players who have played with him.”

Kelly had primarily featured at left-back for the Robins under boss Lee Johnson last season, starting 26 league games.

Since then, the Bristol-born star admitted he saw himself transitioning into the heart of defence as his career developed.

Francis, who can operate at either right-back or at centre-half, believes the youngster’s versatility would only help him.

The skipper said: “He can play left-back or left centre-half as well – with the injuries we have had at left back that might be an avenue for him this season, but he looks great.

“My aim over the past few years was always to train as a full-back and use that fitness at full-back.

“Then, when I’d go and play centre-half, in terms of the physical output it would be easy because you know you are not running anywhere near as much as you would at full-back.

“He might go down the same road – he can certainly run and I know he is very athletic. I’m sure he will have a great pre-season and come back very fit.

“I can envisage him playing left-centre half but, with all left-footers, you have a chance of playing left-back. He looks very comfortable in either position.”