FOR some club managers, the idea of your players heading off on international duty over the summer must be a daunting prospect.

After the rigours of a long and gruelling domestic season, the amount of time available to recharge ahead of starting all over again is limited to a matter of weeks, even before off-season tournaments are thrown into the mix. But for Eddie Howe and Dominic Solanke, the European Under-21 Championship feels like it has arrived at the perfect moment.

The Cherries striker is currently part of the 23-man England squad who are competing out in Italy and San Marino. Solanke started for the Young Lions in their opening group game against France on Wednesday, which ended in a last-gasp 2-1 defeat, but he could well feature again when Aidy Boothroyd’s charges face Romania on Friday.

The group phase then rounds off on Monday with a clash against Croatia in Serravalle.

And if Solanke can feature prominently in all three matches, which come in the space of just seven days, it would represent a big step for the striker as he continues to look to reshape his career path.

Things have not gone perfectly to plan for the now 21-year-old.

In the three seasons since the Reading-born ace spent a fruitful loan spell in Holland at Vitesse Arnhem, he has started just seven league games – none at Chelsea (2016-17), five with Liverpool (17-18) and two since moving to Cherries in January this year. During that time Solanke’s potential has never been in doubt. Not only did Jurgen Klopp decide to make a move to bring the striker to Anfield, but he was also handed a senior England cap by Gareth Southgate in a friendly against Brazil at Wembley in November 2017.

With game time limited at Liverpool, Howe swooped earlier this year to sign the frontman in a £19million deal, one of the most expensive in Cherries history.

Solanke’s time in Dorset is yet to really click into full gear, down in part to injury but also the form of Callum Wilson and Joshua King ahead of him in the pecking order. While he has looked lively from the bench, Solanke is yet to net in 10 appearances in red and black.

But the international scene is where he appears to thrive. Heading into this summer’s tournament, Under-20 World Cup winner Solanke had notched nine times in 17 appearances for the under-21s, adding to the 27 goals already bagged lower down the age groups.

Discussing the youngster’s wait for a first Cherries goal back in April, Howe told the Daily Echo: “It doesn’t concern me in any way. Dominic will naturally want that goal, but I think he will score many goals for this football club in the future. I think he’s got all the attributes. The challenge for him is whenever he gets that opportunity to play, whether it is from the start or from the bench, that he impresses and then his career will only go one way.”

While Solanke failed to find the net against France, the next week is the perfect opportunity to add some much-needed game time and confidence-boosting goals to his tally before the battle to win a spot in the Cherries first team soon resumes again next month.