Bournemouth defender Steve Cook has publicly stated his belief that on-loan midfielder Jack Wilshere can help the side qualify for European football next season, and consequently shake off the tag of being a small side amid suggestions that second-season syndrome could be a feature for Eddie Howe’s side this term.

Having joined the south Coast outfit on a season-long loan move from Arsenal, he has now completed 90 minutes in four consecutive matches and continues to improve with time. His most recent display, a show of his playmaking ability away against Stoke on Saturday, has prompted suggestions that he could be the player to help the Cherries reach the next level this season.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Jack Wilshere of AFC Bournemouth (L) is tackled by Charlie Adam of Stoke City (R) during the Premier League match between Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth at Bet365 Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 19: Jack Wilshere of AFC Bournemouth (L) is tackled by Charlie Adam of Stoke City (R) during the Premier League match between Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth at Bet365 Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

His arrival has boosted the players’ morale and as quoted by Squawka, Cook said the following: “He has fit in really well and added another dimension to the team. He is up to full fitness now and I am sure we will see a lot of very good performances, hopefully goals and assists. With his quality, he was only going to improve us.”

At 24-years-old, it was a career decision that would ultimately help benefit Wilshere in the long-term, and he has already settled into his new surroundings well.

Having played eight Premier League matches this term under Eddie Howe, it’s encouraging to see constant improvement from the England international – something that has had a positive influence on the Bournemouth side as a whole.

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BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: One of his main aims this season was to also return to the England set-up, and has already done so courtesy of his encouraging performances at club level. (Photo source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)
BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 10: One of his main aims this season was to also return to the England set-up, and has already done so courtesy of his encouraging performances at club level. (Photo source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images)

“As a young lad, he is enthusiastic and the lads love him, on and off the pitch. He’s a real asset to have here and is enjoying being part of the team. Hopefully he can take us to the next level.”