Liverpool have signed the hero of England’s recent Under-20 World Cup win, Dominic Solanke.
The fee will have to be decided by tribunal because Solanke is a product of Chelsea’s youth system, however it is expected that £3 million will be the cost the Reds will have to pay for the 19-year-old.
Solanke was the star of the U-20 World Cup in South Korea. He scored four goals on his way to winning the Golden Ball, an award for the player of the tournament. The award has been won by some familiar faces in the past, most notably Paul Pogba, Sergio Agüero, Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona – not a bad list of names to be a part of for Solanke. He will undoubtedly be hoping to emulate some of the successes of the men who have won the award before him.
He has only made a single appearance for the Chelsea first team, which came against Maribor in the Champions League in 2014. A cameo off the bench made him the youngest player to feature for Chelsea in the Champions League. However, like a lot of young players at Stamford Bridge, his only opportunity at the club was to go out on loan.
He spent the 2015/16 season at Vitesse, along with five other Chelsea players. He scored seven goals in 25 Eredivisie appearances there before he arrived back in London.
Solanke remained at Chelsea for the 2016/17 season in the midst of contract negotiations. However, he had no involvement in terms of first team appearances as he was the third and sometimes fourth choice striker.
A move away from the club was almost inevitable and Liverpool came in to sign the talented youngster. Quoted by the BBC, Solanke says he’s happy to join the Merseysiders.
“It feels amazing and everyone has made me feel welcome already.
“Even just pulling on the training top, I was over the moon. Hopefully I can put on the shirt in the near future and make some history here.”
The teenager is raring to go and is clearly extremely talented. Potential is a word that is often thrown around too much these days but Solanke is a player who really could be something special.
Let’s just hope that we are not talking about what might have been a few years down the line.
Conor Daly, Pundit Arena