Dominic Solanke has admitted it would be “crazy” for him to play for England against Brazil after being drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad as injury cover.
Solanke played for the Under-21s in a friendly against Ukraine on Friday, only to be called into the senior side the following day along with fellow newbies Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook to help offset a raft of drop-outs.
However, the 20-year-old Liverpool striker isn’t overly confident of getting a run-out against Neymar and co., especially as he’s never actually started a senior league game in English football:
It would be crazy to play, to play a great nation at Wembley. It would mean a lot.
[The call-up] came as a surprise but anything can happen as a footballer. It can change quickly. If you get an opportunity you have to take it. If you believe in yourself and you get an opportunity then all you can do is take it.
The manager just told me to express myself and enjoy it. A lot of the boys know Gareth, and I worked with him in the Under-21s.
He knows a lot of us and it is a good time to be young England player. Being young sometimes you need a little bit of guidance and he is there to do that.
Solanke has amassed a total of 85 minutes of football so far this season, spread across seven games, with zero goals to show for it, though he did finish as England’s top goalscorer in their victorious Under-20 World Cup campaign in June.
Through no fault of his own, Solanke’s inclusion is once again indicative of the problem at hand: a bottle-neck of young kids talented enough to find themselves on the fringes of the senior England team, yet unable to get a regular game and even being to prove themselves at club level.
The stockpiling of Premier League youth players and the dysfunctional loan system stymieing their progress has created a situation that is completely arse-over-tit, leaving gifted players of 20, 21, etc being forced upwards through the international ranks despite being largely devoid of full professional experience – Solanke being a good example.
‘Crazy’ just about sums it up.