Bournemouth have signed Wales international centre-back Chris Mepham from Championship side Brentford for a reported £12million ($15.6m).
Mepham, 21, has signed a “long-term contract” with the Cherries, having developed into one of one of the most highly rated young British defenders.
After coming through Brentford’s academy, Mepham made his breakthrough last season, making 21 appearances for the Griffin Park club and nailing down a spot in the starting XI in the second half of the campaign.
The former Wales Under-21s captain added to that with another 22 outings this term and has impressed despite Brentford languishing in 17th in the table.
Mepham joins a strong collection of talented young players at Bournemouth, including Nathan Ake, Lewis Cook, David Brooks and Dominic Solanke, and highlighted the influence of manager Eddie Howe in his signing.
“It’s taken a while to get my signature on the dotted line but it’s been worth the wait,” Mepham told Bournemouth’s official website.
“There’s so much to like about this club, not least the manager. Eddie Howe is a fantastic manager and what he’s done here is remarkable, so to be working under him every day is a really exciting prospect.
“I’m still young and have lots to learn and develop on my game, but I can’t wait to get started, to meet everyone and to get out on the training pitch.”
Speaking of his new signing, Bournemouth boss Howe said: “Chris is a talented, young defender who has been on our radar for some time, so I am delighted he is finally our player.
“He has shown a huge amount of potential in his time at Brentford and while playing for Wales, and we believe this is the perfect environment to continue his development.
“Chris is a good defender and comfortable on the ball, and we believe he will be a great addition to the squad here.”
Mepham becomes Bournemouth’s third signing of the month, following the reported £19m acquisition of Solanke and Nathaniel Clyne’s loan arrival, both from Liverpool.
He could make his debut against Chelsea in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday January 30.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth have allowed midfielder Marc Pugh depart the club on loan for the rest of the season, joining second-tier Hull City.
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