There have been mixed emotions among Liverpool supporters in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side picked up a credible 1-1 draw with Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday, although it was a result which saw them fall out of the division’s top four.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their clash with the West London outfit off the back of drawing 3-3 with Sevilla in the Champions League in midweek, a game they were leading 3-0 before their defensive frailties were once again exposed. Yet they looked on course to get back to winning ways when Mohamed Salah, formerly of the Blues, gave them the lead midway through the second half, although the Reds were unable to see it out as Willian’s floated effort sailed over the head of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to preserve a point for Antonio Conte’s side.
And the result, coupled with Arsenal’s win over Burnley on Sunday, saw the Merseyside giants slip to sixth in the Premier League table, although there are still several satisfied Liverpudlians in the Tavern this week given that their team are showing signs of progression going into the busy Christmas period.
Elsewhere, there has been plenty for our resident Reds supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent comments from Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce which suggest that striker Dominic Solanke should look to leave the club in January.
The 20-year-old made the move to Anfield during the summer after struggling for gametime at Chelsea, but it has been a similar story in the North West as well for the Englishman, who has yet to start a Premier League game for Klopp’s side.
As such, Solanke must heed Bruce’s advice and seek a move away from Liverpool in January, as he simply isn’t going to get much of a kick between now and the end of the season, ahead of a World Cup which the 20-year-old has a very outside chance of making.
Ultimately, with the plethora of attacking talent at Klopp’s disposal, namely the outstanding Salah as well as Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Philippe Coutinho, the Englishman is going to seriously struggle to dispose any of those four in the starting line-up.
And were one or perhaps two of them be unavailable through injury or suspension, Daniel Sturridge appears to be ahead of Solanke in the pecking order – the 20-year-old would have moved from Chelsea in search of first team football, but it has so far not quite worked out.
However, his motivations may well have changed in recent times given that he was given a surprise call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the friendly against Brazil earlier this month, in which he made his debut in an all too familiar substitute’s cameo.
Yet Solanke showed signs of composure and genuine quality in that 15-minute stint to perhaps give Southgate something to think about ahead of next summer’s World Cup, even if he did miss a golden chance late on.
But the 20-year-old won’t be anywhere near consideration without gametime – he was perhaps fortunate to get a call-up in the first place given that he so far played just 84 minutes of league action this term.
The fact that he was, however, would suggest that he is in someway on Southgate’s radar. Remember, Marcus Rashford made the Euro’s back in 2016 having not played a senior game prior to the February of that year, so Solanke certainly has a chance.
And now that he has had a taste of playing for England at senior level, Solanke now must show ambition to want more, which means playing more and scoring goals on a regular basis for his club.
And that can surely only happen if he were to leave Liverpool in January.
Liverpool fans… what do you think? Let us know!