SUNDAY’S victory over Everton offered so many positives from a Cherries perspective.

The eye-catching return of Lewis Cook from injury, Callum Wilson’s first goals at Vitality Stadium for almost eight months and a Premier League debut for Jack Stacey all contributed to an impressive afternoon’s work against the Toffees.

But it was the performance of the wingers during the 3-1 victory which are likely to present Eddie Howe with his biggest selection dilemma ahead of Friday’s trip to Southampton.

Howe sprung a surprise by leaving Ryan Fraser out of his starting XI to face Everton, the Scot having previously played every minute of league action this season.

While his form is yet to hit the heights of 2018-19, being named amongst the substitutes was a decision Fraser himself admitted he “didn’t expect”.

With the club’s reigning player of the season dropped, Howe opted for a new-look attacking quartet. Summer signing Harry Wilson kept his spot on the right and Callum Wilson again started through the centre, but there was a reshuffle with striker Dominic Solanke handed his first Premier League start of the campaign.

That meant a change in role for Joshua King. The hard-working forward has had peaks and troughs in form himself so far this season, his only goal coming from the penalty spot against Aston Villa.

But Howe was reluctant to leave him out completely, instead shifting him to the left wing, a position he has filled in the past but rarely as part of a 4-4-2 in recent years.

The decision proved to be an inspired choice as King delivered comfortably his best display of the season.

Fraser ended 2018-19 second in the table for most Premier League assists, only behind Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, having teed up his teammates on 14 occasions. King managed just three. But any fears the team may lack a creator in the absence of Fraser were quelled by the performance of King.

While the 27-year-old will feel he should have put the ball in the net himself, his touch back was nodded in by Callum Wilson to break the deadlock.

And his constant bursts of pace down the left flank eventually led to the second goal as he drew a foul from Richarlison, with the resulting free-kick whipped into the bottom corner by Fraser, who had just been introduced off the bench.

King’s performance was not lost on Howe.

Discussing his display against Everton, the boss told the Daily Echo: “Physically Josh is so strong, so quick. I wouldn’t want to play against him, whether I was a full-back or a centre-half.

“He’s got that pace and power that is quite unique. You need it in the Premier League.

“He was a real counter threat for us and we needed that. I almost think when you have that pace and power (on the wing), it also limits their attacking ability down that side. Josh did a really good job for the team.”

With Junior Stanislas, David Brooks and Arnaut Danjuma all still ruled out, the selection headache on the flanks is an interesting one for Howe as he looks to mastermind a first Cherries victory at St Mary’s.

While Solanke is still seeking his first Cherries goal, his partnership with Callum Wilson against Everton led to Howe describing the pair as “a real handful”, which would suggest they may well continue as a pair on Friday. Fraser will also feel he has done enough to earn a start after coming on to score against Everton, while King has started each of the past 24 Premier League fixtures, stretching back to a defeat against Tottenham in December.

That could see Harry Wilson become the fall guy. The Welshman lit up his first two Cherries performances with long-range strikes against Aston Villa and Manchester City, but has struggled to make an impact since, substituted around the hour mark in each of the last two fixtures.

But his two goals are second only to namesake Callum in the club’s scoring charts for the season. Whoever Howe opts for against Saints, he knows he will have a hungry attacking option waiting in reserve, with all five aforementioned talents having shown glimpses of their undoubted ability in recent weeks.