Jurgen Klopp has reacted to questions about Dominic Solanke’s playing time by claiming that at the same age, Harry Kane was being shipped out to the Championship on loan.
In 2013, when Kane was the same age as Solanke, he spent spells at Norwich and Leicester, having already been farmed out to Millwall and Leyton Orient.
Now of course, he’s regarded as one of the best strikers on the planet, having scored over 135 goals in all competitions at club level over the past four seasons.
Solanke, who yesterday turned 21, hasn’t currently played a minute of first-team football this season and due to Daniel Sturridge’s return, isn’t on the bench, either.
“I remember a picture of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy sitting on the bench for Leicester. They obviously didn’t start that day but they made their way,” Klopp told Chris Bascombe at the Guardian.
“I don’t know exactly where Harry Kane was at the same stage of his career but it was all over the country playing and not playing. It is really difficult for strikers to get the one spot or one of the two. We are still 100% sure everything will be fine for Dom.
“It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear. He is a young striker and a young striker generally needs longer in a big club, that’s how it is. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no-one in this world is patient enough. But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving. He had good games last season, not enough minutes that is true, but he is still young and when we cannot use him as a striker we still work with him.
“We work with him to try and fulfil his potential and I think we are really on a good way with that,” he continued.
“I don’t like to talk about what other people said, or when or why they said it, but Dom Solanke is a fantastic young player. Our situation here is that we have four players in Bobby (Firmino), Daniel (Sturridge), Divock (Origi) and Dom. Dom can play the ten but so can Bobby and so can Daniel. That’s the situation. We have this squad and we need it. If he works hard – and that is all that he needs to do to secure the rest of his career – then everything will be fine because of his talent and his skills.”
Solanke won’t play against Spurs today, but we reckon he’s in line for minutes against Southampton next weekend and definitely versus Chelsea in the EFL Cup, when Klopp will have no choice but to rotate due to our crazy fixture congestion.
He has the potential to be a top forward, but he doesn’t seem aggressive enough at the moment. Hopefully Solanke can add that cutting edge to his game, as his technical ability and shooting skills are already good.