As a young player, not breaking into the first team at Chelsea is hardly something to beat yourself up about. For starters, they have quite a few excellent players. But there’s an underbelly to the ways in which the London club deal with budding potential, too. Many of the younger players end up in the oft-maddening loan cycle at Vitesse in the Netherlands where Chelsea have some kind of business slash dark magic agreement to destroy hope. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
Dominic Solanke had his spell in the Chelsea under 18s, scoring many goals, etc, and after not getting anywhere under Jose Mourinho was shipped off to do his duty in Vitesse and make the best of it. He returned to find Antonio Conte in the big blue chair in London. After being frozen out of first team preparations and failing to agree contract terms, it was time to look for pastures new. That’s Liverpudlian pastures.
“It’s a smart move for him and for us,” said Jürgen Klopp.
“He saw an opportunity at Liverpool and we see it also.
“He’s a skilled boy and I am really happy to have him here. We will help him all we can and hopefully in the end everything will be good.”
Solanke has looked capable during his limited preseason minutes so far. Lively. And his touch and strike to score his first Liverpool goal against Crystal Palace in Hong Kong was impressive. Of course, there’s much and more to finding yourself on Klopp’s teamsheet. Tactics and whatnot. But we’ve seen a fine start for the young striker and we shouldn’t be too surprised if Solanke takes a step above Divock Origi in the pecking order sometime this season. Possible.
Solanke is just nineteen years old and it’s clear that there is a mutual benefit to him making the move to Merseyside. Although cup games are his most likely targets, he will have a mind to challenge Daniel Sturridge, Origi, and Roberto Firmino for minutes on the pitch this season.
Solanke was signed by the club for the future but expected to invest in the Liverpool way now. Learning and playing under the benevolent rule of Jürgen Klopp.