Newcastle confirm signing of Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly on a free transfer as Eddie Howe hails reunion with player he has ‘admired since the early stages of his career’

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Newcastle have completed the signing Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly on a free transfer.

Kelly has spent the last five years at the Cherries after joining from Bristol City, but his contract was set to expire at the end of the month.

The Magpies have moved quickly to secure his signature, announcing he has joined the club on Thursday.  

Commenting on his move to Tyneside, Kelly said: ‘It’s amazing to be coming here. I know how big the club is and how much it means to all the fans, and I just want to hit the ground running and get to work.

‘It’s a big move for myself and the family – of course being down south is a bit different – but I think the city of Newcastle is amazing, with the contrast between city life and the countryside.

‘It wasn’t a hard decision for me to come here. Working with the gaffer previously, I know what he wants from his players and how he wants his players to play, and I think with what I can bring it just makes sense. I just can’t wait to get started.’

Lloyd Kelly (pictured) has joined Newcastle after agreeing a deal with the club

Manager Eddie Howe said: ‘I’m really pleased to have secured Lloyd’s signature. 

‘He’s a player who’s proven himself at Premier League level and I’m certain he’ll be a great addition as we prepare for the new season.

‘Lloyd is a player I’ve admired since the early stages of his career. Alongside his undoubted defensive ability, he brings versatility and leadership qualities that I believe will make him a great fit within our squad and somebody our supporters will quickly take to.

Eddie Howe is a long-term admirer of Kelly, and will finally land the versatile defender

Eddie Howe is a long-term admirer of Kelly, and will finally land the versatile defender

‘He has plenty of Premier League experience already under his belt, yet Lloyd’s at an age where he can still develop. 

‘He has a lot of potential and I’m really looking forward to working with him again.’

Howe – who managed Bournemouth across two separate spells between 2008 and 2020 – is a long-term admirer of Kelly.

Kelly made 23 league appearances for Bournemouth in the 2023-24 season, and is capable of playing at centre back or left back.

His addition will bolster Newcastle’s defensive ranks after centre backs Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles both picked up ACL injuries in the final months of the season that are set to rule them out until the end of 2024.