AFC Bournemouth U-21 striker Sam Surridge says he wants to break into Eddie Howe’s first team squad before the end of this season.
The 18-year old exclusively told Buzz News that Cherries boss Howe has told him “anything is possible”.
Surridge said: “In the U-21s if you’re good enough you can get around the first team. If I keep scoring goals for the 21’s I can get there.”
The striker has enjoyed goal-scoring form throughout his short career so far, scoring six goals in four games since returning from loan to AFC Bournemouth’s U-21 side in December.
Since getting back to the Cherries, he netted twice in a five-all draw with Stoke U-21s. Since then Surridge has continued his form, scoring braces against both Reading and Wimbledon.
Surridge says he has a similar play style to that of Manchester United superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović. He also says he’s been compared to England and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane in the past.
On reaching the heights of his idols, which include Diego Costa and Didier Drogba, he said: “I’d love to. That’s the ambition. With the level the club’s at, at the moment it’s getting harder and harder to get to the top. I just want to see what happens at Bournemouth this month.”
Surridge’s recall by the Cherries came following a thumb injury, which cut-short his time at Poole Town FC where he spent two months on loan.
The youngster joined Poole on transfer deadline day in the summer and scored 8 goals in 15 appearances for the National League South side.
Whilst out on loan, Surridge says Cherries boss Eddie Howe would contact him to tell the striker to keep going and working hard to try and get into the Cherries first team.
Surridge also revealed he has contributed to Poole Town’s crowd fund page, which has been set up to raise £70,000 to build a new stadium.
He said: “I can do as much as I can. It’s hard, I’ve put in a little bit. I made my contribution towards it. If everyone does it it’s possible that you don’t need a massive contribution from one person. I’m sure they will (get the funds).”
If the Dolphins can’t raise the funds they face demotion to the Southern Premier division. Surridge says this would be “demoralising” for Poole, who currently sit fourth in the National League South.
Surridge refused to rule out a move back to Poole this month, perhaps eyeing another deadline day move to the club if he can’t force his way into AFC Bournemouth’s first team.
On re-joining Poole on loan, he said: “It can happen, but obviously I want to focus on my career and Bournemouth want to push me on a bit. I loved it there. I would enjoy it if I could go back.”
Surridge’s immediate concern will be the Hampshire Senior Cup final after starting in the Bournemouth U-21s semi-final win against Gosport on Tuesday night. The striker says he was “disappointed” not to score in the 6-0 triumph.
Only time will tell if the 18-year old will go out on loan before the end of the transfer window on January 31st. If he stays, he believes he could force his way into the Cherries first team squad.
To do that, he will have to displace one of the current first team forwards. Lewis Grabban joined last January for £9 million from Norwich, as did Benik Afobe who signed from Wolves for around £10 million. With Callum Wilson struggling for form and neither Grabban nor Afobe setting the Premier League alight, Eddie Howe may turn to his youth and give Surridge a first team chance.