Eddie Howe has encouraged Benik Afobe not to give up on his dreams with England despite interest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Afobe has made an immediate impact at AFC Bournemouth since arriving from Wolves in January, scoring three goals in six Premier League appearances.
The London-born 23-year-old – who represented England at youth level – qualifies to represent DR Congo through his parents, and said this week that he would consider all international options.
However, Bournemouth boss Howe thinks Afobe should be patient.
“If I were Benik, I would hold on for an England call up,” Howe said. “He’s progressing well and I think he should hold on for that.
“You wouldn’t want to make a decision now that you potentially regret in a year’s time.
“I think it’s early days for him at Premier League level and a lot is going to change after the next tournament.
“You just don’t know how many strikers England are going to have to pick from in the future and I will be speaking to him. I will be saying ‘give it your very best to play for this country’.
“We will wait and see. I don’t know his feelings or thoughts on it. I read his comments but I haven’t spoken to him about it yet but I will do, just to lend my advice and thoughts because he’s still very young.
“I think that’s the key thing. If he was 27 or 28, I could understand why he would look elsewhere but he has his best years ahead of him.”
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