In the wake of England’s U20 World Cup victory and Dominic Solanke’s Golden Boot-awarded performance. Does the striker’s move to Liverpool from Chelsea mean Klopp see’s something in him that can be instrumental for Liverpool?
All too often England fans are given a young star with unbridled potential, who despite all the signs of world-class quality, fails to consistently deliver; Solanke, though, may prove to break the mould.
He certainly excelled for Vitesse in the Eredivisie, notching up an impressive 25 appearances, all while wearing the coveted number 9 shirt. Likewise on the international stage for England he featured heavily and scored four on their road to the trophy.
Contract problems at Chelsea and a lack of options in the first-team has meant Solanke has left for Merseyside. But why would he go to another big club in Liverpool if Klopp hadn’t made promises regarding first-team football? Similarly, why would Klopp poach the striker, when he has Sturridge now back to fitness, Origi starting to find his feet and Firmino consistently performing for the Reds?
Solanke must be part of Liverpool’s plans and Klopp must see something in the striker. Something that seems to be confirmed by his recent Golden Boot at the U20’s World Cup, following in the giant footsteps of both Maradona and Lionel Messi.
“I have been very lucky as I have worked with some very talented players, but Dominic is right up there at the top of that list. He is an outstanding footballer. He’s intelligent and has great movement. He plays like a No 9 and a No 10 put together. Without being disrespectful, he reminds me of Teddy Sheringham but quicker.”
Adrian Viveash – Solanke’s coach at Chelsea.
Solanke has bags of potential, undoubtedly; he’s quick, he can use both feet and he can slip in between defences and confidently beat the keeper.
Throughout the U20’s tournament, the above goal included, Solanke showed an ability that made him a nightmare for other teams to deal with. Picking the ball up in midfield through tenacious defensive work or creating space, and then looking for teammates or running at defenders – all still while only 19.
Liverpool need a forward like this; Sturridge’s talent may be a cut above the rest but he’s unfortunately made of glass. Danny Ings is suffering from an allergy to first -eam football and Origi has, as of yet, failed to light up Anfield.
Klopp’s ability to mould young players and his man-management is indeed no secret. Solanke undoubtedly would have been aware of this. But surely without at least the hint of first-team football, he would have chosen a Bournemouth or a Southampton, to break into the Premier League.
And this chance of first-team football wouldn’t have been given by Klopp, if Solanke didn’t provide something that has been missing from Liverpool. With uncertainty over Sturridge in general and really only Robert Firmino performing at consistent first-team levels, Klopp obviously believes Solanke can give Liverpool the push they need, both in Europe and at home.
Why wouldn’t he, with standout performances on the u20 unternational stage and a style of play that includes defending from the front and a natural finishing talent; Solanke gives Klopp a fresh and exciting option.