Thursday, 29 March 2018

Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke frustrated with lack of playing time

Dominic Solanke admits his lack of first-team action at Liverpool is “frustrating” but understands why Jurgen Klopp’s in-form forwards are keeping out of the starting lineup.

Solanke has made just four starts for the Reds following his move from Chelsea in the summer due to the success of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the final third this season.

The 20-year-old left Stamford Bridge upon the expiration of his Chelsea contract because of the lack of opportunities in the senior ranks, having only played 17 minutes for the first team.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re not playing, but I’m enjoying it at Liverpool,” the striker said. “Being at a club like Liverpool, there’s always a lot of competition so there’s always going to be tough times.

“I’m learning from those around me. There are some crazy players at Liverpool, especially in my position I have definitely learned a lot from that. I’m grateful for that.

“You always have to take the positives from the situation and we’re doing so well at the moment the front players have been phenomenal. It’s a good lesson [training with them].

“Salah is on fire and I’m really happy for him. He is unstoppable at the moment and that’s helping us a lot.”

Solanke missed out on the chance to captain England under-21s on Tuesday with a toe infection that limited him to a start on the substitutes’ bench for a Euro 2019 qualifier with Ukraine.

However, he came off the bench in the second half at Bramall Lane to score an 88th-minute winner, ensuring England maintained a five-point lead at the top of their group.

“The day before the first game it was very painful and I had to come out of training,” Solanke said. “The day of the game and a couple of days after I didn’t put my boot on at all.

“I didn’t really know if I’d be back for the second game but it started to get better after a few days.

“It’s always tough conceding an equaliser late on but we have a great bunch of boys and a lot of us have played together since we were young, so we know we can come back.

“Knowing each other from being younger, we know each other personality wise and how to work for each other.”

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