CHERRIES’ latest signing Alex Paulsen labelled Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel as his “role model”, as he outlined his path into goalkeeping.

Paulsen, 21, is currently on international duty with New Zealand.

He is set to join up with his new club Cherries next month, having completed a move from Wellington Phoenix for an initial £850,000.

Paulsen is then set to join up with his country for the Olympic Games in Paris.

It has been a remarkable rise for the goalkeeper, who was serving as backup at A-League Wellington until last season, where he enjoyed a breakthrough campaign, winning a host of individual awards.

Asked if he was a supporter of a club in England, in an interview with the New Zealand Herald, Paulsen explained: “Well, I’m all for Bournemouth.

“One of my best mates is a Barcelona supporter and he keeps me informed about them, so I am a Barcelona fan.

“I do support Manchester United. My brother is a heavy Manchester United supporter, and so is my dad.

“That’s how I was introduced to the goalkeeping of Peter Schmeichel. He was a role model for me, one of the keepers I aspired to be.”

Paulsen added: “I feel that I am a completely different personality to that, calmer, more relaxed.

“But there are elements of his game that I can take into my own, like his aggression off the ball, how he communicated with his backline.

“He was very firm and direct, got the message across once.

“That’s what I would like to incorporate into my game, although not in a disrespectful way, but to get a message to my backline or defenders.”

Peter Schmeichel won the treble in 1999Peter Schmeichel won the treble in 1999 (Image: PA)

Denmark legend Schmeichel, who also played in the Premier League for Aston Villa and Manchester City, was at Man Utd between 1991 and 1999, playing almost 400 matches.

In that time, he won five Premier League titles and the famous treble of league, FA Cup and Champions League.

Discussing his route into becoming a goalkeeper, Paulsen added: “I played futsal as an outfield player, but also as a goalkeeper and it originated from there.

“I thought ‘I want to make that change’. I loved the position, the hand-eye co-ordination.”

Asked what he would have done had he not made it in professional football, Paulsen said: “As a kid in New Zealand, you grow up playing a wide range of sports.

“I loved futsal, but I also loved playing cricket.

“I was a wicketkeeper/batsman. But I was pretty fixated on trying to pursue a football career.”