JONATHAN Woodgate heaped praise on "Rolls-Royce" defender Lloyd Kelly's performance at Bristol City, adding: "I don’t see him being at Bournemouth long, if he keeps on playing like that."

Kelly stood out for Cherries against his former club, impressing from left-back as the visitors came from behind to clinch a 2-1 victory at Ashton Gate.

The 22-year-old arrived on the south coast from Bristol in the summer of 2019 for a fee of £13million, amid reported interest from Liverpool.

But his first season at Vitality Stadium was decimated by injury, meaning the defender had to wait more than a year before finally making his Premier League bow, featuring regularly for the club during Project Restart.

Following relegation, Kelly now finds himself back in the second tier, but Cherries boss Woodgate feels a return to the top flight might not be far away for the talented youngster.

"Lloydy’s done ever so well since I’ve been here," said Woodgate.

"He’s got talent. He’s got a lot of attributes which Premier League teams look at. But he needs to be consistent week in, week out now.

"Okay he’s played well against (Watford's Ismaila) Sarr and played well again against Bristol City. Can he keep on playing well throughout the season?

"I don’t see him being at Bournemouth long, if he keeps on playing like that.

"He was brilliant. He’s got some strings to his bow now. He can play very well at centre-half and he can play very well at left-back.

"As long as he keeps on doing that, he might not be at Bournemouth for long, because he’s a really good player."

Woodgate added: "At the minute he just looks like a bit of a Rolls-Royce doesn’t he? He looked very, very good (against Bristol City).

"I was impressed to be honest with you, especially when (Antoine) Semenyo tried to run him down the line and Semenyo gave him two yards and Lloydy overtook him.

"It’s eye-catching when things like that happen, especially as a fellow defender. When you see things like that, it’s like ‘you’ve got a bit’.

"It’s all about consistency, that’s the key. It’s being there week in, week out and when me and the coaches are telling him to do things, you do it and you learn from it.

"It’s no good coming in and making one mistake and then making it again the same week. Lloydy’s got big attributes to go higher.

"He’s an England under-21 international. But consistency is key. He needs to keep improving week in, week out. But at the minute he’s doing fantastic and I’m pleased with him."

Despite the high praise, Woodgate did outline one area of Kelly's game which needs work.

"What I said to him at the end of the game, 'your delivery can be better'," explained Woodgate.

"It can be better for a lot of the players, the delivery in the final third and just be a bit cooler under pressure. That’ll come."