WHEN Eddie Howe told ensembled press in the Vitality Stadium media suite that Callum Wilson would be dropping out of England duty due to injury, you could have imagined Dominic Solanke’s ears pricking up from the Cherries dressing room.

Cherries’ talisman will be on a high after his double helped his team defeat Howe’s Magpies 2-0 on Saturday evening, lifting Andoni Iraola’s charges out of the bottom three heading into the final international break of 2023.

But alas, Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah is already on standby after making his debut last month, meaning Solanke’s next two weeks will be occupied with Cherries training, unless further injuries strike.

Fans and media of every Premier League club will always plug their homegrown heroes for England duty, but the suggestion of Solanke once again donning three lions on the front of his shirt is grounded in reality.

At the time of writing, the only English players to have scored more than Solanke in the Premier League this term are the aforementioned Wilson and West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen, with seven goals apiece.

The former is clearly unavailable, whilst the latter is already in the squad for dead-rubber qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia.

Looking at the other attackers called up, Ollie Watkins sits level on six goals, Marcus Rashford with one goal in 15 appearances for Manchester United this term.

Nketiah on standby has five strikes this term for Arsenal in the Premier League.

The undroppable Harry Kane is busy doing what he does best out in Germany, his 17 goals and five assists in his first 11 Bundesliga games for Bayern Munich cementing his place as the best forward in world football at the moment.

Bournemouth Echo: Dominic Solanke's two goals helped Cherries to a second win of the seasonSolanke has already matched last season’s league tally in just under a third of the games, taking 12 matches to reach six goals compared to the 33 appearances last term.

There is more justification for his inclusion now in comparison to when he made his England debut back in 2017.

Aged 20, Solanke was named alongside current teammate Lewis Cook for a friendly against Brazil, coming off the bench in a 0-0 draw at Wembley.

He had finally broken into the first team picture at Anfield, albeit used sparingly as a substitute by Jurgen Klopp. At the time of his call-up, he was yet to score his first Premier League goal.

Bournemouth Echo: Fast forward six years, and Solanke has shown his pedigree. A more than productive spell in the Championship has highlighted his goalscoring ability, and whilst he is yet to reach similar heights in the top-flight, he has demonstrated his value to Cherries time and time again.

Cherries fans will know that Solanke’s contributions to the team go beyond goals and assists.

You would have to go back to the 2020/21 season to find the last example of Cherries winning a league without Solanke featuring, a 1-0 win away at Rotherham in the Championship.

Not only did Southgate give a senior international debut to Solanke, he was also the head coach of the under-21s when the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker entered the fold in 2015.

Solanke was only 18 when he made his first appearance for the under-21s, and would drop back down to the younger age groups after Southgate was named senior team boss.

Although sometimes it can feel that Cherries are overlooked and dismissed by the wider footballing world, Southgate is the only England manager to hand players from Dean Court international caps.

Cook did not make his debut alongside Solanke against Brazil, instead waiting to be called up for further friendlies the following March.

And Wilson’s England breakthrough came whilst still wearing red and black.

The willingness from Southgate to look at less fancied clubs has not gone unnoticed by Solanke.

“I think especially at the moment with Gareth (Southgate) as the manager as well, I think the doors open for whoever's doing well, really,” he said back in September.

“We’re seeing in every announcement, there's always a new face.

“So, I think when I probably get a few more goals, go on a good run, I think, the door's definitely there.

“I definitely think I can do it and it will be something that I will push for.”

Interestingly, Solanke’s goalscoring record is quite similar to Wilson’s at the time of the former Coventry forward’s international debut.

Although his first season was heavily impacted by injury, it took Wilson three top-flight campaigns to reach double figures.

By the time he was called up in November of the 2018/19 campaign, Wilson had six goals in 13 appearances – on par with Solanke’s six from 12.

However, it must be said that Wilson provided five assists compared to Solanke’s one.

Cherries will hope Solanke can follow his former colleague’s trajectory from that season. Wilson ended the 2018/19 season with 14 goals and 10 assists, as Cherries comfortably stayed up in 14th.

For Solanke and his international hopes, ending the season with similar numbers could see him gatecrash the boarding party for the plane over to Germany for next summer’s Euros.