Scout Report – Dominik Solanke
Date of Birth: 14 Sept 1997 (18 Yrs)
Current club: Vitesse (On loan from Chelsea)
Current Transfer Value – €1.4m (Credit- TransferMarket)
Chelsea have been often criticized for not bringing through enough players from their youth ranks, who can be a success at the senior side. Barring John Terry, no Chelsea academy player has played regular football for the Stamford Bridge club.
However, that soon can change with the emergence of a young and raw striker names Dominic Solanke. I am sure, most of the Chelsea fans would recognize him by name, as there were quiet rumours of him being a part of Chelsea’s senior side this season.
However, with Radamel Falcao’s inclusion, Solanke was sent on loan to Dutch club Vitesse to work in his game and come back stronger next season to fight for his place alongside Diego Costa and other Chelsea forwards.
Solanke has been making his way through Chelsea’s youth teams. When Jose Mourinho was in power, Chelsea’s production of young players fell down rapidly. Even the players who had the potential to shine, like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku were sold for a few bucks.
Dominic Solanke – A brief history
Born in Reading, United Kingdom, he joined Chelsea in 2005 and since then, he has been progressing constantly and gradually, he secured the golden chance to play for England’s youth levels.
Starting from U-8’s till U-18’s, he has represented Chelsea in each and every youth level and registered his first senior appearance against NK Maribor in the Champions’ League group stages last season.
Since then, he has reported to be on the bench many-a-times, but never came up as a starter or as a substitute. As far as Mourinho’s reign is concerned, it is quite a remarkable achievement.
Solanke has been a part of UEFA Youth League winning sides, where he scored 12 goals in just 9 matches. He had also scored a goal in the final and became the competition’s joint top scorer.
His outrageous striking form earned him the honour of England’s young player of the year as well as put him on many manager’s wish list. It will be interesting to see him cope with Europe’s big teams as a Chelsea centre-forward.
Dominic Solanke – Strength and style
Talking about his favored position, he is best suited to play as a striker but can also play as a right wing or as an attacking midfielder. Just like the Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez, Solanke is a two footed player and never hesitates to fire a ball towards the goal.
The best aspect about his game is that he likes to dictate the play. Even if none of his teammates are ready to run and give up the game, he can sprint throughout the field and can make abundant space for himself. He is the kind of player who never needs any support.
His hold-up play, the ability to put crosses and passes into the box is appreciable. The basic component that is mandatory for any striker is thundering pace, and this teenager has it, in aplenty.
Besides, he can finish off deadly balls – something that needs patience and placement. His eye towards the goal is something unexpected from a player of his age. Even if he scores five goals a game, he is still hungry for more.
Dominic Solanke – Aspects to be worked upon
Negative aspects are not very rare to be found in a teenager’s game. When a player is learning, he will be having several holes in his game, that ought to get filled up with time.
Talking of Solanke’s negative aspects, my first and fore most verdict is his vision, or it is his self-centered style of play that makes his vision weak. Even if players are at a better position than him, he turns his back to them, denying to pass the ball.
After all, football is a team game and all the players need to have equal contribution.
Standing at only 1.85m, he isn’t one of the tallest players, but still heading the ball in the right direction is very much expected, but Dominic fails to do so.
Nothing more to be boasted about, but hopefully, time will will make him a better striker, and Chelsea can reap the rewards for sticking with him in his early years.
Dominic Solanke – What does the future hold?
Dominic is currently playing for Vitesse and next season, he will arrive at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho is no more Chelsea’s darling and so, he will have to prove himself once again to re-address his future at this club.
The upcoming manager, Antonio Conte will decide whether he will play among the big boys next season or he will be loaned out, yet again. If given a chance, fans are expecting him to become the next Didier Drogba at the club.
Having said that, Chelsea fans had similar expectation from Romelu Lukaku as well, but that story did not turn out to be a great one for the Blues supporters.
Solanke has to decide, how he wants to shape his Chelsea career? Be like Drogba and become a club great or show promise like Lukaku, but not achieve greatness at Stamford Bridge.
Image credit: getty