EDDIE Howe insists Lewis Cook will have a “big part” to play for Cherries this season despite his limited match action in their first four Premier League games.
Midfielder Cook started 25 times and came off the bench on four occasions in the top flight in 2017-18 in what was his breakthrough campaign.
The 21-year-old has been restricted to brief substitute appearances against West Ham, Everton and Chelsea, and played the full 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup win over MK Dons.
England under-21 head coach Aidy Boothroyd watched Cook against the Dons before naming him in his squad for two key European Championship qualifiers over the international break.
The Young Lions, who top Group Four with four games remaining, host second-placed Netherlands at Carrow Road tomorrow before visiting Latvia on Tuesday.
Cook, who captained England to Under-20 World Cup glory in 2017 and victory at the Toulon Tournament in June, is one of four central midfielders vying for a place in the Cherries team.
Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman started against Cardiff, West Ham and Everton as Cherries remained unbeaten, while Jefferson Lerma was drafted in at Chelsea on Saturday.
Asked by the Daily Echo about his central midfield options, boss Howe said: “Going back to before the first game, we picked the team, basically, that we had against Marseille where we produced a really good performance.
“I didn’t want to deviate from that team for the first game and Lewis has fallen victim to that. He will have a big part to play this season, I have no doubt about that.
“He has come on in games and done well and played in the Carabao Cup, which was good to see.
“We have a very strong unit in central midfield and have some very good players all competing for two places. Lewis has a big future ahead of him.”
England under-21s are five points ahead of Netherlands and registered a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture 12 months ago when Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin was on target.
Demarai Gray, Tammy Abraham and Kasey Palmer netted in the Young Lions’ 3-0 victory over Latvia at Vitality Stadium a year ago today.
England complete their qualifying campaign next month when they host Andorra at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium on October 11 before facing Scotland at Hearts’ Tynecastle five days later.
Source : BournemouthEcho