Dominic Solanke, 19-year-old striker and Academy graduate, will join Liverpool as soon as his contract at Chelsea expires, on July 1. A compensation sum will be set by a tribunal, as he is under the age of 24. Liverpool look to have beaten off competition from the likes of Celtic and RB Leipzig, who were reported to have been interested in him as well. His prospective wage is said to be under £20,000 per week. The tribunal is expected to set a of around £3m.
At this time one year ago, 18-year-old Dominic Solanke was most likely set to head out on loan once more after spending the previous season at Vitesse Arnhem, where he scored 7 goals in 25 appearances. Having also scored 65 goals in 83 games at youth level, the striker was destined for big future at Chelsea. Things soon took a turn for the worse however, as rumors regarding the youngster’s future began flooding the press. Reports claimed that Solanke’s father (also his agent) was demanding that his son receive a massive increase in wages, to £50,000 per week after fellow academy graduate Ruben Loftus-Cheek had signed a similar deal.
Solanke himself debunked the figures that were being quoted in the press via social media in February but it had become clear by that time, that the forward and/or his father were playing hardball over a new contract with the club for some reason or the other. Nevertheless, having missed out on an opportunity to go out on loan last summer due to an injury, Solanke was training with the first-team and even made the bench on three occasions. Things then appeared to take yet another bad turn, when Solanke did not head out on loan in the winter transfer window and began training with the U23 development squad instead of the first-team.
Last season, Ola Aina, Charlie Colkett, and John Swift looked set to leave the club in a similar manner but two of them ended up signing new deals at the eleventh hour. Unfortunately, Solanke has followed Swift’s path instead.
One can only assume that Liverpool promised Solanke more first-team opportunities, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’ll have to compete with the likes of at least Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino for minutes, with Liverpool’s own youngsters Rhian Brewster and Ben Woodburn knocking on the first-team door. Good luck anyhow to young Solanke, whose 13-year stay at Chelsea has come to and end. Hopefully for him, he’ll get what he wants at Liverpool.