MANAGER Eddie Howe said he had been “very impressed” with Jack Stacey’s transition to the Premier League this campaign and described him as “the modern-day full-back”.

The defender, snapped up from Luton Town for £4million last summer, was thrust into top-flight action against Tottenham on Thursday after Adam Smith was stretchered off with injury.

And with Smith set to miss Sunday’s home clash with Leicester (7pm), former Reading youngster Stacey could be drafted into Howe’s starting XI.

Asked about the 24-year-old, Howe told the Daily Echo: “I think Jack has done really well this season.

“I have been very impressed with his ability to step into the Premier League and perform at a very high level.

“He’s been very creative for us, very good in the final third. He’s the modern-day full-back, very aggressive with his attacking.

“I was very pleased with him on Thursday because it’s not easy to come on in a game like that – adapt to the pace of the game but I thought he did it really well.”

Stacey has made 16 top-flight appearances for the Dorset club this season, registering assists against Arsenal and Chelsea.

He has featured four times since the Premier League’s resumption.