MANAGER Eddie Howe has challenged Ryan Allsop to stake his claim to regain his mantle as Cherries’ first-choice goalkeeper.

Allsop, who joined Cherries in January 2013, has been offered terms on a new 12-month contract and was the only player to feature on Howe’s retained list.

The 22-year-old spent the first-half of this season on loan at League One outfit Coventry City before returning in January to fight for a new deal.

One of Howe’s first signings following his return to Dean Court, Allsop initially joined a team of goalkeepers which comprised former England stopper David James, Shwan Jalal, Darryl Flahavan and Benji Buchel.

He eventually forced his way in and went on to feature in a club record run of eight successive victories which saw Cherries win promotion to the Championship in 2013 with a game to spare.

Capped five times by England at under-17 level, Allsop also kept five away clean sheets in succession to equal a club best set by the late Ken Bird in 1947-48.

However, despite starting the following campaign as number one, Birmingham-born Allsop found first-team opportunities hard to come by after the signing of Lee Camp.

He was then sidelined by a nasty bout of glandular fever before linking up with Coventry at the start of this season and making 27 appearances for the Sky Blues.

With Artur Boruc’s loan having ended and Flahavan and Buchel set to leave when their contracts expire next month, Allsop and Camp are the only two goalkeepers on the books at Dean Court.

Discussing his decision to offer Allsop fresh terms, Howe told the Daily Echo: “Ryan is still young and I think you have to treat goalkeepers differently to outfield players because they tend to extend their careers longer. We think Ryan is still at a very early stage of his development.

“He has had some good experiences in his career and is still developing. It is going to be important to have strength in depth in the Premier League and I feel Ryan has a future at the football club.

“He has shown a great attitude on the training ground and did a lot of work during the second-half of the season with our coaching staff. If he continues to improve, he will have an exciting future.

“We want every player in the squad pushing and fighting for a starting place. Ryan had good experience with his loan at Coventry. The highs and lows of being a goalkeeper are pretty evident and it is a difficult profession.

“But for a young guy, he has dealt well with whatever has been thrown at him and he has a good character. I want to see him push whoever our other goalkeepers are and fight for a first-team spot.”