SCOTT Parker is confident Siriki Dembele has "got the potential" to impress in the Premier League, and praised the winger's "first-class" attitude to a new way of working at Cherries.

Dembele showed flashes of brilliance for his new club, after arriving from Peterborough United on January transfer deadline day, for a fee of reportedly around £1.5million.

The 25-year-old ended the campaign having made 13 appearances for Cherries, providing one assist and scoring two goals, match-winners against Blackpool and Bristol City.

It has been an unconventional path to this point for Dembele.

Born in Ivory Coast in west Africa, Dembele moved to London with his family as a child, before settling in Scotland. There, he came through the youth ranks at Dundee United and Ayr United, before trying his luck with the famed Nike Academy, where footballers seeking clubs would compete in a series of exhibition matches in front of scouts.

Grimsby Town in League Two eventually came calling in 2017, before a step up to League One the following year with Peterborough.

Dembele helped Posh clinch promotion to the Championship in the 2020-21 season, netting 11 league goals.

The diminutive winger bagged five goals in the second tier, before exiting for Cherries in January.

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Speaking in early April, Parker explained how he had seen a "real change" in Dembele compared to when he first joined the club.

Asked to elaborate on what he felt the former Peterborough man had improved on in particular, Cherries' boss told the Daily Echo: "I just see someone who has bought into absolutely everything that we ask of him.

"Even though I do sense and I feel that maybe it's very new to him, certainly it will be very hard. I'm sure if you spoke to Dembs he'd be the first to say 'this is tough'.

"In terms of the environment, in terms of the work we do, and it's very different.

"And I think at that moment, like anything when you sign a new player, you hope that they take that challenge and they embrace it, without much help from me.

"So you just tell them, 'this is how we work, this is what we do' and you hope that they just crack on and they get it.

"I realise that some don't and some need pushing and some need to push along with you. But with Dembs I've not seen that.

"I've seen someone who has just been very focused in that. Although I understand at times it's probably been difficult for him, I know there's probably challenges there where it's very new to him, but he's been first class."

Dembele has previously said how he has found things easier the higher up the football pyramid he goes, with his style not as suited to the rough and tumble of League Two.

Bournemouth Echo:

Asked if he things Dembele has the quality and mentality to continue impressing at another level up in the Premier League, Parker said: "Yeah, I do. That's the next big step for him.

"I think like the Championship was. I think Dembs is right, he's scored goals and shown his quality in this division.

"I think it's fair to say he needs to get himself in the team and have a good run at it, but there's ability there for him to go to the next level.

"But you can only really answer that question when they get there and perform, but certainly he's got the potential to do that."

Dembele will hope to make his Premier League debut when Aston Villa visit Vitality Stadium on Saturday, August 6.