So, a few days ago, Easter Island national Steve Bruce decided to insert himself into the man management of both Liverpool and the English international team by opining about Dominic Solanke’s international debut. The sentiment was that Solanke should not be given the chance to play for his national team until he had cemented his place as a starter for the Champions League team, or alternatively, gone out on loan to a club where he could be starting every week.
One can only guess at Bruce’s motivations for commenting on the business of other clubs, but perhaps the fact that he has relied entirely on a career season from Albert Odomah carrying his team through the early struggles of central striker Scott Hogan conceals a hint. A young, spry attacker with the ability to play as a target man and the athleticism to threaten a high line might be exactly what the doctor ordered for a side with a misfiring striker and ambitions of promotion.
Solanke won’t be moving anywhere in January, however, and Paul Clement — manager of toothless Swansea — knows as much.
"[Solanke] is a really good player but I can't see that Liverpool would want to let him go,'' Clement said of the 20-year-old forward. "He is not a name we have highlighted because we see him as a player that's doing really well at his own club.”
Two managers, two wildly divergent opinions. It would be natural to look at the record-setting scoring exploits of Mohamed Salah and imagine that Solanke would struggle to get a sniff of game time at Anfield, but the fact of the matter is that the former Chelsea man has already racked up 3 starts and 11 appearances for the Reds, and although he has yet to score for his new club, he did pick up his first assist on Wednesday, with a neat flick to set up Sadio Mané’s opener.
Daniel Sturridge is clearly a diminished force, Divock Origi is spending the season in Germany, and despite the unearthly energy bestowed upon him by his glorious celebrations, Roberto Firmino cannot play every minute of every game remaining on the Reds’ fixture list this year. Solanke will get minutes, and will show whether he is ready for the level that is required to feature for England over the course of the coming six months.