New Liverpool signing Dominic Solanke has the ability to play himself into first-team consideration this season, Jurgen Klopp claims.
The striker enjoyed a productive 45 minutes against Tranmere last night during his friendly debut, having completing a transfer from Chelsea at the beginning of the summer.
A fee has yet to be decided by a tribunal, but whatever it is, we could be getting a bargain based on first evidence and Solanke’s performances for England at the Under-20 World Cup.
Asked whether the teenage forward would play minutes for the first-XI this term, Klopp told the Echo: “He decides that himself. Obviously he is a young lad and it is a long-term project. I have all the time in the world.
“If he brings a little bit ‘rush’ with his development then everything is good. I saw a few wonderful signs tonight and I think everyone in England watched the U20 championship that was fantastic football.
“He is a really skilled boy but he has to improve of course. But a lot of things are already really good: first touch, movement.
“It is about him and the situation but I will not avoid his development. In the moment when he is strong enough he is there.
“He will train with us, of course, as often as it makes sense and often as possible and then we will see.”
Solanke has attributes which Klopp clearly rates. He’s physical, backing up natural speed with upper body strength, but has technical skill in abundance too.
In this respect, he actually reminds us a little of Divock Origi, who on paper has what it takes to be a world-class striker, but so far lacks the mentality or football intelligence to consistently affect games.
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