Newcastle United supporters have been making a fair bit of noise in the Transfer Tavern in the last few weeks after seeing their side pull clear of the Premier League relegation zone having lost just one of their last six games.
Rafa Benitez’s men were just two points clear of danger after they were beaten 3-1 by champions-elect Manchester City back in January, but they have since gone on a fine run to move clear of the bottom three with eight games to go. The Magpies produced an impressive performance to edge Manchester United 1-0 at St James’ Park last month, and they backed that home win up with another last time out by cruising past Southampton 3-0, thus seeing them pick up nine points from six matches to move five points clear of the drop.
As such, there have been many happy and optimistic Newcastle fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are sincerely hoping that their side have got enough to stave off relegation this term, and thus push on up the table next time round.
And many of our resident Magpies supporters are already looking ahead to who their club should sign during the close season, with Liverpool summer flop Dominic Solanke on the radar of many given his struggles at Anfield this season.
Ultimately, the 20-year-old has not commanded regular football under Jurgen Klopp so far this term, having managed just 385 minutes of Premier League action thus far, which equates to just three starts and 14 substitute cameos.
So while he is not completely out of the picture at Anfield, it’s clear that while the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah are firing in the goals, as they have done all season, his gametime is going to be extremely limited. And even when he has had the chance, Solanke has so far failed to net for Liverpool in 21 first team appearances.
Thus, it’s clear that things aren’t working for the 20-year-old in the North West, and with Liverpool eyeing up bigger and better things in the years to come, it’s difficult to see him getting the gametime befitting of someone who made his senior England debut back in November last year.
But he could well get that gametime and thus that development under Benitez at Newcastle, as the Magpies are struggling in the forward ranks, and Solanke seems to represent exactly the sort of striker the Spaniard wants leading the line.
Clearly, the attacking department at St James’ Park needs reinforcing, with Joselu providing Benitez with a more rounded striking option, but ultimately unable to hit the back of the net, while Dwight Gayle is very adept at the latter, but somewhat struggles with the former – meanwhile, Aleksandar Mitrovic appears to have no future given he was shipped out on loan to Fulham.
But Solanke has that all round centre forward game in his locker, as the 20-year-old is aerially dominant and very strong on the ball, thus helping to hold the ball up and allowing others to make room behind the defenders, but he has also scored goals in his career, be it on loan at Vitesse or in the Chelsea youth teams.
And he appears to be a player Benitez wants given that the Magpies were linked with a move for the England international back in February last year, and they should again ask the question ahead of the summer given his distinct lack of playing time at Liverpool.
Ultimately, Solanke could do with a move to Newcastle in a bid to get the minutes to aid his development, while Newcastle could do with Solanke in a bid to bolster their striking ranks and get the goals which can take them to the next level next season.
As such, the £7.2 million-rated outcast (as per Transfermarkt) should seek to kick-start his career in the North East this summer.
Newcastle and Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!