JASON Tindall hailed Asmir Begovic “a great leader” at Cherries, adding: “He has been excellent since he’s come into the team.”

Begovic joined Cherries for £10million from Chelsea in 2017, but lost his place as number one stopper in April 2019, with Artur Boruc and Mark Travers both preferred by former boss Eddie Howe.

All three along with returning loanee Aaron Ramsdale battled it out for the starting spot the following pre-season, and after Begovic lost out to youngster Ramsdale, he headed out on loan to Azerbaijani side FK Qarabag.

A second temporary spell away at AC Milan followed, before the Bosnian returned to Cherries this summer after the club were relegated from the Premier League.

With Boruc and Ramsdale both leaving the club, Begovic is currently sharing goalkeeping duties with Travers and has played in four matches for Cherries this season, keeping two clean sheets and conceding just two goals.

The 33-year-old appears Tindall’s preferred choice between the sticks at present having started each of the past three Championship matches.

And the boss has been impressed by the returning Begovic’s performances.

“I think Asmir has been excellent since he’s come into the team,” Tindall told the Daily Echo.

“He’s got a great presence. He’s a great leader on the pitch and off the pitch in the changing room. He’s a great player to have out there on the field and within your squad.

“I’ve been delighted with Asmir since he’s been back and with the performances he’s shown since he’s been in the team.

“It’s great to have him here. He’s a big character, the players look up to him and always go to him for advice.”

Asked why Begovic was allowed to leave the club on loan last summer, Tindall added: “I don’t think it’s right for me to talk about anything in the past because I’m just judging everybody now and what we see now and looking forward to the future. Since Asmir has been back and been back training, he’s earned the right to be in the team. Like every player, you have to judge every player on a daily basis and what they deliver on the training ground and what they deliver in games.

“So far, since Asmir has been in the team, he’s been excellent and I’ve been really pleased with his performances and I think it’s important that As continues to work hard, like he does every day and deliver the consistent performances that he’s delivering so far.”

Begovic has also recently returned to the Bosnia & Herzegovina squad, and was part of their camp for this month’s Nations League games against Holland and Poland.

“I know he loves playing for his country, As,” said Tindall.

“I think he’s earned that right to play for his country.

“He’s in a good place. He’s playing games.

“As a goalkeeper it’s about keeping clean sheets and keeping the ball out the net.

“So far As has done a good job on that.”