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What Does The Arrival Of This English Striker Mean To The Likes Of Sturridge And Ings?

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Dominic Solanke
Dominic Solanke

What Does Solanke’s Arrival Mean To Other Liverpool Strikers?

Liverpool confirmed their first transfer of the summer, when they clinched the signing of youngster Dominic Solanke from Chelsea.

The 19-year old has been heralded as one of the best to have come through the Chelsea academy in recent times, but a contract dispute at the start of the season meant he was frozen out of action for the rest of the campaign. Solanke wanted a £50,000-per-week wage on his new deal, which the Premier League champions weren’t willing to match, for a teenager who had made just a single senior appearance. Now Liverpool have confirmed his capture and will have to pay a fee set by the tribunal, which could be in the range of £3million.

The driving force behind Solanke’s move to Anfield is the fact that he might get more first-team opportunities with the Merseysiders. So a lot of attention will be on manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of the next campaign and how he uses his options, especially since the arrival of a big name striker is also expected in the summer.

So what does Solanke’s arrival mean to futures of other strikers in the squad?

It is needless to say that Roberto Firmino’s place in the team will not be threatened by the arrival of Solanke. Klopp trusted the Brazilian to lead the line in a false nine role last season and he repaid the manager’s faith with some stellar performances. Firmino remains one of Klopp’s favourites in the squad and will have a key role to play next season too.

Divock Origi is someone who might feel some heat from the transfer. The 22-year old was a huge hit in the second half of the 2015/16 season when he drove Liverpool to the finals of the Europa League. However, his stock seems to have fallen after a series of unimpressive displays this season.

The Belgian hasn’t been able to score as freely and frequently as he or his manager would have liked. He may have managed to score 11 times, but most of the times he was on the pitch, Liverpool lacked the bite in the attacking third. With Solanke’s arrival, Origi is someone who could find himself under pressure and with speculations that Monaco are interested in him, it will definitely be a crucial summer for him.

Then there is the extremely talented but rarely available Daniel Sturridge. The 27-year old can be one of the best marksmen on his day but has been perennially troubled by injuries that haven’t allowed him to hit his stride in recent years. There have been a lot of rumours doing the round about his exit for quite a while now, but the fact that he ended the season on a strong note might force Klopp to reconsider things.

There is a lot of inevitability surrounding his future at the club, but if he does stay beyond the summer, much like Firmino, his place too will not be hampered by the arrival of the young and emerging talent like Solanke.

That leaves Danny Ings’ future in a precarious position. The 24-year old has been blighted by two very serious injuries since his arrival in the summer of 2015. While he has shown the right attitude and determination in his recovery, two anterior cruciate ligament injuries in the space of two years are sure to have a serious impact on a player’s abilities.

The former Burnley man is someone who would fit in seamlessly in Klopp’s way of working, no questions there. But just 9 appearances in 2 seasons is something that will be taken into consideration. At this point of time, a move away from the Reds does make sense for the player as he looks to get his career back on track and Liverpool may well have to offload him.

But everything will hinge on how Klopp decides to use Solanke – whether he includes him the first team or sees him as part of the U-23 side. But if he becomes a part of the first-team action combined with the expected arrival of another star striker, it could mean the end of the road at Anfield for Ings and potentially even Origi.