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Dominic Solanke caps off dream month and season with golden boot and the Euro U17 trophy

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Sascha Steinbach

It really is too bad he is just 16.  There's so much more time left before he's ready to make a contribution at the top level, so much time for his career to derail, stall, or simply not live up to its current promise.  But let's be positive for a second, because if - and that's a bigger IF than I'm capable of emphasizing - his career path continues along its current trajectory, we have a future great on our hands.

Here's how Dominic Solanke's month of May has gone.  On the fifth, he scored twice in the final eight minutes to win the FA Youth Cup for Chelsea U18.  A week later, he scored another brace, this time for England U17s as they clinched a spot in the semifinals of the Euro U17 Championships.  In the semifinal against Portugal, he scored the first goal as England ran out 2-0 winners.  In the final, he once again opened the scoring as England eventually won the trophy in a penalty shootout.  In a little over two weeks, the clinical striker won two trophies, scored six goals in five matches for club and country - his four goals tied with Jari Schuurman of the Netherlands for most at the U17 tournament - and gained the plaudits of just about every observer.

Oh, and when he wasn't scoring goals, he was passing tests of a different kind.

"I've been sitting some of my GCSEs over here in Malta, so I've been revising in the mornings and training in the afternoons. It's been difficult at times to balance the two but it will be all worthwhile in the end if we lift the trophy and I pass my exams. I've got English literature exams to take today and the day after the final and I've already completed my science ones since being out here."

-Dominic Solanke; source: Telegraph

Did I mention that he's still just a schoolboy?  With 20 goals in 28 appearances for Chelsea youth teams - including one substitute appearance at U21 level - Solanke led all Chelsea players (U18 level or higher) in scoring.

"To win the Youth Cup with Chelsea and scoring the winning goal in the final was something that I've dreamt about since I was a young boy and something I've always wanted to achieve."

"Going away with England at the Euros is such a brilliant experience, the team have got a great work ethic and we all get along so well. It was an amazing feeling to score in the semi-finals and take us through to the final. I love scoring big goals in big games."

-Dominic Solanke; source: Telegraph

With that attitude, hopefully the big goals continue coming as the stage gets bigger and bigger.

N.B. Congratulations also to Isaiah Brown, who started the Euro U17 final alongside Solanke.  Brown has been a fixture in Chelsea's U21 sides, forming a successful partnership with Islam Feruz (both forwards finished the U21 league season with 8 goals) and the rest of the scintillating teenage talent in the Chelsea academy.

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