FORMER West Ham and Everton star Tony Cottee – a boyhood hero of Eddie Howe – wants the Cherries boss to take charge of one of the Premier League's big guns.

A prolific striker of the 1980s and 1990s, Cottee plundered nearly 300 career goals and alongside two distinguished spells with the Hammers, he also starred for Everton, Howe's team of choice as a youngster.

Now a respected pundit, Cottee was an interested observer when Cherries held Leicester to a 1-1 draw on the final day of the 2016-17 campaign.

And the 51-year-old, a League Cup winner with Leicester in 2000, feels Howe's managerial talents are worthy of a "top club". The Cherries boss has repeatedly been linked with the Arsenal hot seat, while he was also reportedly on Chelsea's radar in January last year.

Cottee told the Daily Echo: "I'm a big fan of Eddie, I think he has done a great job and he's an English coach as well, which is brilliant.

"I like the way he handles himself, he's very good with the media. It's one thing talking a good game but you also have to get results and he has done that as well. Tactically, I think he gets things right.

"Although he might not like me saying this, I hope he goes on to coach one of our top clubs because we need the English coaches to come through and they are few and far between at the moment.

"When a big job is talked about such as Arsenal and he is linked with it, that shows how good a job he's done.

"I'm very pro English managers and I want them to be successful. I don't like it when they get the opportunity and it doesn't work for them because we need them in our game.

"Eddie understands what English football is all about.

"To get promotion to the Premier League was a real achievement and what Bournemouth did last season was fantastic. The challenge is on for next year as it's getting harder and harder to stay in the division.

"Some big boys are arriving. The likes of Newcastle and Brighton will fancy their chances of staying up so that makes it really hard for the teams in the bottom half of the table."

Cottee believes Howe has been a key attraction for players considering a switch to Vitality Stadium. Arsenal's Jack Wilshere spent a fruitful season on loan in Dorset, while England striker Jermain Defoe is expected to complete a permanent move this summer.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry has also been among those linked to Cherries.

Cottee added: "Who would have thought Bournemouth would have got Jack Wilshere? And now the club has been linked with John Terry and Jermain Defoe and quite a few others.

"We all know Bournemouth is a great place to live but what it wasn't in the past, because of their league position, was a good place to play football.

"But now they are playing in the Premier League and everything's great from that point of view. The club is going to be linked with players and a lot of the draw is Eddie Howe, without doubt."