The young Reds striker has shown the flashes of promise in his debut season of first team football and has been rewarded with a chance to strut his stuff with the senior England squad. A rash of injuries has seen Tottenham’s Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks, in addition to Stoke City’s Jack Butland, Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater all bow out of international duty, with national team boss, Gareth Southgate dipping into the U-21 side for reinforcements.
With an upcoming friendly against a rotated but still formidable Germany, the Three Lions’ boss is openly looking to experiment with youth as the World Cup quickly approaches, “If we don’t try things now, when will we?” Southgate said in the lead up to the match.
“It’s not just about Russia [in next summer’s World Cup], it’s beyond that. Germany took a young team to the Confederations Cup. They are brave enough to take decisions which might get them results or might not. They are constantly evolving and that’s what we have to do.”
The commitment in recent years from Southgate, a former England youth coach himself, and the Football Association to investing in the next generation is clearly paying off: English youth teams have reached a stunning four international finals in 2017 alone. Liverpool youngsters in particular have had a strong representation in these successes, with the 20-year-old Solanke shining on the international stage along with the likes of Rhian Brewster, Joe Gomez and the Welshman Ben Woodburn.
England's youth in 2017— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) October 25, 2017
U17 World Cup final
U17 Euro final
U19 Euro winners
U20 World Cup winners
U21 Euro semis
Toulon winners pic.twitter.com/swOBl7OTTp
For Solanke, the chance to earn his first senior cap this Friday is a testament to the clear promise that Jürgen Klopp and his scouts recognized when rescuing the striker from the purgatory of the Chelsea youth academy this past summer. Exciting times ahead for fans of Liverpool and English football.