London - Veteran French defender Sylvain Distin signed for Premier League new boys Bournemouth on Wednesday after being released from Everton at the end of last season.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe, leading Bournemouth into the top flight of English soccer for the first time in their 116-year history, is hopeful the 37-year-old's experience will help inspire his players and be a source of knowledge for the youngsters.
He told the club's website (www.afcb.co.uk): "I see Sylvain playing a similar role to the one (defender) Ian Harte played.
"Off the pitch, he is someone the younger players can turn to in times when they need to speak to someone who has seen it and done it.
"Ian was invaluable to us in that respect last season and the season before when he had experience in the Championship and no one else had.
"Sylvain now takes on that role, and on the pitch I still think he has a huge amount to offer.
"He still has his athleticism and is technically very good. We are very pleased to have him."
Distin has been playing in England since 2001 when he had a spell on loan at Newcastle United and has also played for Manchester City, Portsmouth and Everton.
He holds the record for the most appearances made by a foreign outfield player in the Premier League, with his current total standing at 457 matches.
The Cherries open their first Premier League campaign with a home match against Aston Villa when the season starts on the weekend of August 8/9.