RODRIGO Riquelme thanked Cherries fans for their support during his loan spell, adding: "This experience has helped me to grow as a footballer."

Cherries fought off competition from Championship rivals Reading to snap up the young Spaniard in October.

He arrived on a season-long loan deal from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, with Cherries having the option of signing him on a permanent deal this summer.

However, the club opted not to take up that opportunity, with Riquelme now heading back to Spain.

The 21-year-old struggled to hold down a place in the Cherries starting XI. Of his 19 appearances for the club, only four came as a starter.

Riquelme scored two goals for Cherries, against Derby County in the Championship and in victory over Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.

Taking to Twitter, Riquelme wrote: "Thanks to the club for the opportunity.

"This experience has helped me to grow as a footballer.

"We have fallen just short of our goal, but the club is on the right track.

"It's time for me to say goodbye. I thank you all for your support and wish you all the best.

"Let's go Bournemouth!"