England: Dominic Solanke Admits It Would Be ‘Crazy’ For Him To Play Against Brazil At Wembley

Chris Wright

14th, November 2017


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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.

Posted in England, International football, Newsnow

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  1. syndex says:

    see paragraph below, would that there is an english young striker, playing regularly for his club, scoring regularly for his club and having come through the england youth ranks. unfortunately DCL doesn’t play for a fashionable club so will not get a look in.

    • Chris Wright says:

      @syndex: Not seen an awful lot of Calvert-Lewin so far this season, but he seems like he’s holding his own at Everton in difficult circumstances.

      Do you think he’s ready for a spin in the (England) senior side?

      • DC says:

        Between Solanke and DCL I’d take Solanke in a heartbeat, probably over Abraham too despite premier league minutes. DCL hasn’t been much effective as a striker and as they pointed out on MOTD, he’d be much better fit as a winger at Everton to build up his confidence and fit his strengths. He’s just not a clinical finisher at the moment. England don’t need wingers but they could use a solid center forward. Solanke proved it in the U20s over the summer. Certainly not the finished product but you can see him pulling a few goals out of thin air and I think England is missing out on a bit of that. England need to start thinking outside the box a bit– some players, like Podolski/Gomez/Klose for Germany, Joan Capdevila for Spain, even Crouch for England played out of their skin on the international stage even when lacking minutes or playing mediocre at club. That can be a good thing for an international team, but there’s this other mentality in England too that only players that light up the premier league can perform on an international stage when that’s not always the case. And in fact, a lot of those players that light up international games DO come from and have great records in the U21, etc matches

    • P says:

      @syndex, @DC I suspect it has something to do with the playing styles of the individual players themselves as well. Given this is a friendly, and one against a top side who will be in Russia, the manager should be treating it as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup. I think Solanke and Abraham play a more similar style to Kane than Calvert-Lewin does. It’s about preparing the team as a whole for the tournament, not awarding merit-based minutes to currently in-form individuals.

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