EDDIE Howe believes summer signing Lloyd Kelly “has a great future” ahead of him as he begins his journey in the Premier League.

Brought in from Bristol City for £13million in May, the defender was named in a top-flight squad for the first time on his 21st birthday in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Having played the entirety of a Carabao Cup defeat against Burton last month, as well as scoring in a Hampshire Senior Cup win over Basingstoke, Kelly was an unused substitute at Emirates Stadium.

And Howe believes the experience of witnessing England’s elite level first hand would have helped the Bristol-born star.

The boss told the Daily Echo: “He will have learned from Sunday with the speed and the intensity of the Premier League – it’s a ruthless division.

“It’s a different feeling when you are involved and watching the game from the bench. You feel the game a little bit more than when you are watching it from a different view point.

“It was great for him to be involved. He is a player we really, really rate and think he has a great future ahead of him.”

Kelly featured 48 times for Bristol City in all competitions before making the switch to Cherries.

He could play for England under-21s in Friday’s friendly against Slovenia, having been named in Aidy Boothroyd’s Young Lions squad.

“He can play the dual-role at centre-half and full-back which is a great thing to have in our armoury,” said Howe.

“He’s a natural left-footer, there’s not many players of that quality around with a left foot.

“We like him a lot but this is really useful time for him to learn and develop himself while he’s not in the starting XI, so he becomes the complete player.”