The Liverpool fans in the Transfer Tavern were surprised to see Dominic Solanke in the starting eleven for their side’s clash with Everton. Arguably the most heated contest of the season for the Reds, the Merseyside derby has often been a showcase of the best players in the city, and though Solanke wasn’t the worst player on the pitch, he was far from the best too.
Klopp’s reasoning for his decision to start him seems pretty clear. Solanke obviously deserves a chance, but Roberto Firmino has led the line for much of the season, and so realistically the Brazilian likely needed a rest against the Toffees. That exposes a rather significant problem in the Liverpool first team, though, and it’s a problem that Dominic Solanke cannot be expected to fix.
Liverpool are in desperate need of attacking depth, and Solanke should, in theory, be an option in that regard. But he’s proven since moving to Anfield that he isn’t quite ready to start for the Reds. Against Everton, he looked a few yards off the pace and was ineffective in front of goal. Against a League One side in the Carabao Cup, the Reds may have gotten away with it, but not against their arch-rivals.
That’s a lot of pressure to be putting on the shoulders of a young player, and whilst Klopp may get credit for putting his faith in him, it could also have a negative impact on the striker. He’ll no doubt be reading a few of the comments from Liverpool fans, a few of which can be seen below, that critique his performance, and that will only do negative things to his confidence.
Jurgen Klopp needs todry his eyes, he has no one but himself to blame! 6 changes for a derby match, daft! Salah off 4 Firmino, plain daft! Solanke starts & stays on despite looking lost, daft! Yet again we fail 2 grip up a game! Everton done a job on us, Klopp never learns #LFC
— G Dog (@GHL72) December 10, 2017
Witchcraft is when Solanke starts a game and Sturridge doesn't even make first team #LFC
— Kagiso Mello (@mello_kagiso) December 10, 2017
The lack of depth up-front at Anfield is a big problem. And in January, Jurgen Klopp simply must move to remedy it. Solanke is a great option for the future, but he’s not a realistic solution for the present – and so January is a more important month than ever.
Liverpool fans – thoughts?
Let us know below!