CHERRIES skipper Simon Francis insisted Lewis Cook would command up to £30million in the transfer market – and said Eddie Howe may look to sign more players of the midfielder’s ilk.

Cook was brought in from Leeds United for £7m two years ago and enjoyed his breakthrough season in the Premier League in 2017-18.

The 21-year-old’s efforts were rewarded with a first senior England cap against Italy in March, making him the first serving Cherries player to achieve that feat.

He skippered England to Under-20 World Cup glory last year and again donned the armband for Maurice Revello Tournament success in Toulon this summer.

And defender Francis reckons Cook’s value has skyrocketed.

He told the Daily Echo: “If clubs were in for Lewis Cook now, you would be looking at £20m or £30m. The manager did really well to sign him from Leeds at the right time for the right price.

“He took a step back with us for a season, improved his game and now he’s coming on leaps and bounds. He’s doing brilliantly with England and did really well for us last season.

“I think those are the kind of players the manager will be attracted to, ones he knows will benefit us and improve the squad.

“He was almost similar to Nathan Ake. When Nathan first came in, he wasn’t playing straight away and had to work hard to get in the team.

“We’ve got a unique style of play and way of training and a lot of new signings can take a while to bed in.

“It hasn’t worked for some players but for others like Lewis and Nathan, it’s been a great journey.

“Credit to Lewis. He was excellent when he was out of the team. He worked really hard and even on days off, he came in.

“At the weekends, when he wasn’t involved, you would see him training and I think he realised what he needed to do.

“He got his head down and appreciated what the manager said. He is reaping the rewards for it now.”

Cherries have made two signings so far this summer, paying an initial £10m to reel in David Brooks from Sheffield United and £10.7m for Diego Rico from Leganes.

Strikers Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban, winger Max Gradel and goalkeeper Adam Federici have been the only major departures.

Francis added: “When you get back to pre-season, clubs start thinking about who they want in and out. I expect it to be a bit busier building up to the deadline.

“I don’t think we’ve ever really been a team to get desperate and get loads of deals done on the last day.

“The manager is meticulous in the way he looks at players. I don’t think he will rush into signings, he will try to make the right ones which are going to benefit the club.

“I back him to do what he feels is right for the squad and look forward to seeing any new faces.”