CHERRIES youngster Jaidon Anthony can’t wait to pit himself against Europe’s best when Champions League-winners Chelsea come to Bournemouth, saying “they are the type of players you want to test yourself against.”

Anthony is hoping to be among Scott Parker’s starters when Cherries play their first home pre-season fixture, against Thomas Tuchel’s European champions, on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old has relished a chance under the new head coach and provided a goal and an assist against Spanish sides Real Balompedica Linense and Granada respectively, during the Marbella training camp.

Those teams were unknown opposition however the Blues won’t be for Anthony, who played against the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi when he rose through Arsenal’s youth ranks.

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All three were in the squad that captured the most prestigious trophy club football offers, in Portugal back in May.

Ahead of the match, Anthony told the club website: “I wouldn’t say I was close with any of them but I played against them when I was at Arsenal.

“They have all gone on to do really well for themselves and winning the Champions League is the pinnacle for every club player in Europe.

“These are the games you want to play in and they are the type of players you want to test yourself against.

“Chelsea had a great season and this will be a really good test to see where we are. It will be great to have fans back and a nice experience to play in front of them.”

Anthony was regularly involved with the matchday squad during the 2020-21 season but is yet to make a competitive start, after seven total appearances off the bench in the Championship and FA Cup.

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The introduction of Parker, who is not shy in placing faith in youngsters he thinks are good enough, has awarded every player a chance to impress.

Kyle Taylor, 22, returned from a loan spell at Southend United and scored twice in the opening pre-season fixture – just one example of another young name finding himself in a similar boat.

Anthony added: “It’s always interesting when a new manager comes in because he will have slightly different thoughts.

“As a young player coming through, the main thing is to try to impress. You have to work really hard and show what you can do.

“Coming back, I knew I was going to be with the first team so I knew I needed to start well and show them what I can do. I need to keep showing them for the whole season, not just pre-season.

“To a certain extent, it’s like a clean slate but you know the gaffer will have taken information from the coaching staff who are still here.

“It’s a new chance to impress and really show what you can do. Hopefully, they like what I can bring to the table.”