Liverpool have announced the signing of Dom Solanke. Going into the last month of his contract, the England U23 has chosen to continue his career at Anfield, as opposed to signing a new deal with the Blues. As he is only 19, the deal won’t be free as compensation will have to be paid, which is believed to be in the region of £3 million (similar to the signing of Danny Ings in 2015). He is set to join Liverpool on the 1st July as the deal is a pre-contract arrangement, rumour has it he will be earning £20,000 a week.
The move shows the striker’s intent to further his career with more top flight experience. During his time at Chelsea, his highlight was scoring 41 goals for the youth side in the 14/15 season, which earned him his call up to the senior squad, making his only first team appearance for Chelsea in a 6-0 win over NK Maribor in the Champions League group stage.
This lead to a loan spell at Vitesse in the following season, where he scored 7 times in 25 appearances. A decent return considering the team’s mid-table finish, and when you consider their top scorer finished with 10 goals that season, then Solanke’s return is respectable. Negotiations over a new Chelsea contract stalled in February due to the player’s wage demands, hence a move was inevitable.
Solanke possesses great skill and control of the ball for a taller lad, standing at 6″1 his ability in the air is not his defining attribute by any means. The striker’s key skills are his quick burst of pace and ability to beat his man. While his finishing has been inconsistent, this is something that can be honed and practiced under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp. Solanke would be expected to be a squad player making occasional cup appearances.
But what does this deal mean for the existing strikers at the club? This could be a hint that Sturridge will be leaving this summer, and possibly Danny Ings who has become a forgotten player, to an extent. Either way, the signing of Solanke paves the way for even more transfer deals this summer, and shows Liverpool’s interest in developing young players will continue in the future.