EDDIE Howe insists "the sky's the limit" for Lewis Cook after the midfielder starred in his first Premier League start since May.

Having joined Cherries from Leeds United in July last year, £7million man Cook made just six appearances in the top flight in his first season at Vitality Stadium, four of which were starts.

But having been handed a place in the Cherries XI for Saturday's clash with Leicester, the Under-20 World Cup winner gave a standout display, his pinpoint passing carving open the Foxes on several occasions.

Cook's efforts delighted boss Howe, who predicted the career of the York-born ace would continue its upward trajectory.

Howe said: "Lewis has progressed so much. This season he has improved most aspects of his game.

"He has always shown a good attitude but of course he is competing with good players – Harry Arter, Dan Gosling and Andrew Surman – who have done well for us for a number of years so he has to prove he is better than them.

"We made him aware when we signed him that there may be a period where he had to wait to get in the team and we were going to develop him behind the scenes but he took that situation really well.

"A lot of players would have been disappointed or would have, at times, stopped learning and developing because they don't see a pathway for them to get in the team.

"The difference with Lewis is he is not that type of character. He is a hard worker, he is diligent, he wants to get to the very top and he displays the attitude which will help him get there.

"He is a very level-headed guy. You never see him get too high or too low and I think that's a key part of his character.

"He's been very good. Even this season, he has not been a minute's problem and I think the sky's the limit for him. With more displays like today, he's only going to go one way."

Howe labelled Cook "unique" among Cherries' midfielders following the stalemate with Leicester.

Asked to elaborate further, he said: "Lewis does things on the pitch which surprise you. He has this eye for a pass which is slightly different to the other players we have.

"He certainly has a creative eye. He can play a defence-splitting pass, he can create chances from nothing, he has a lovely way of driving through midfield with the ball.

"That's what I mean when I say he is unique. No one else in our midfield can do what he can but the others have strengths which maybe Lewis needs to improve."

Meanwhile, Howe revealed he expected Harry Arter to link up with Republic of Ireland ahead of their World Cup qualifying fixtures against Moldova and Wales.

Arter missed Cherries' games against Everton and Leicester due to an Achilles problem.

Howe added: "I think he will go away."