MANAGER Eddie Howe admitted Jordon Ibe still had “developing to do” as a player but insisted: “He could be whatever he wants to be.”

The winger, signed by Cherries from Liverpool for £15million in 2016, this week gave an honest assessment of his time with the Dorset club.

In an interview with the Mirror, Ibe said: “I’ve been given chances - but I’ve not taken them. Maybe I haven’t been working as hard as I should.

“And, coming with that price tag at my age, that probably did get to my head a little bit. So, I found it hard at the beginning - I still find it hard - but I’m sure I’ll get through it. But I’ve not achieved anything.

"I’ve been here for a few years, so hopefully this season I can give back to the fans. That’s the most important thing - to show them what I’m worth.”

The 23-year-old has netted five times in 88 games for Howe’s men since moving from Anfield, his contract at Cherries is set to expire next summer.

And while the boss said there had been “no update” on the winger’s deal, he continued to back the former Wycombe youngster.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “I think Jordon is quite honest. At times, in previous interviews he has been quite honest with appraisal of himself.

“Listen, I don’t think there is any point looking back. It’s always about the future for me and if Jordon’s learned lessons from what’s happened previously, then that will only stand him in good stead for the future.

“He’s an outstanding player, Jordon. He could be whatever he wants to be – we talk about ability, it’s there.

“It’s putting it together on a more consistent basis. Understanding that has to work within the structure of the team but Jordon is still, relatively, very young and he still has time on his hands – he’s still got growing and developing to do.

“I never, never once doubted the talent of the player. It’s just making sure that can function well in the team.”

Ibe, a former club-record signing of Cherries, could feature when his side host Manchester City at Vitality Stadium on Sunday (2pm).

Asked what the pressure of a hefty price-tag could do to a player in general, the boss replied: “I think everyone is different. I think it’s very difficult to know how a player is going to react.

“I can only speak from my personal experience. I went from Bournemouth to Portsmouth for what is now considered a nothing fee (£400,000 in 2002).

“But at the time – I wouldn’t say it weighed on my shoulders - but I got injured straight away and then I felt ‘oh, I’ve been signed for this money, I’m not playing and I’m not contributing’.

“I was aware of the fee and the money the club had paid and I felt responsibility that I wasn’t delivering what they wanted me to do. I am just trying to give you that as an example of how it affected me.

“I am sure players do think about it. The reality is they can’t control it and it really shouldn’t be at the forefront of their thinking in any way.

“The money has been paid for a reason, your job is just to focus on your performances and day to day training – if you do that well the rest will take care of itself.”