Premier League Logo
Talking Tactics

Solanke can thrive as a support striker

Adrian Clarke 29 Jan 2019
Dominic Solanke, AFC Bournemouth

Adrian Clarke says confidence is all that stands in the way of AFC Bournemouth's new signing and PL success

Adrian Clarke looks at the impact January signings will have at their new clubs.

Dominic Solanke (BOU) 

AFC Bournemouth and Dominic Solanke look to be the perfect match.

The 21-year-old forward is deceptively quick and bright with his movement.

This should suit the Cherries' fast-paced football and their ability to turn defence into attack at speed.

Whether as part of a two-man forward line, or as a "second striker" just behind, Solanke has plenty to offer Eddie Howe once he recovers from the hamstring injury that has delayed his debut.

Encouraging signs

In his five starts and 16 substitute appearances for Liverpool in the Premier League last term, Solanke was often heavily involved in the action.

He benefited from being part of a team who created a stream of opportunities, but his 3.4 shots per 90 minutes was nonetheless an impressive return.

He also created 2.32 chances for others per 90.

Step up

Solanke managed only one goal and one assist from those matches in 2017/18.

He was a prolific finisher at youth level for club and country, but found it harder at senior level.

Nailing down a regular starting place on the south coast would help his confidence, but to keep hold of that spot the striker will need develop a more ruthless streak.

Callum Wilson and Joshua King have taken on 1.87 and 1.55 shots per 90 minutes respectively this term, finding the net an impressive 16 times between them.

Support striker

Once he regains full fitness I would expect Solanke to be used primarily as a support striker behind Wilson.

He performed this role brilliantly when named player of the tournament in England's FIFA Under-20 World Cup success in 2017.

His appreciation of space between the lines and an eye for delivering quality early passes particularly stood out.

Wilson benefit

Do not be surprised, therefore, if Wilson receives more goal chances during the latter part of the campaign.

Solanke has the talent to help improve the Cherries inside the final third.

All he needs is a little more confidence in front of goal to kickstart his career.

Also in this series

Part 1: Nasri adding threat to West Ham attack
Part 3: Higuain has the skills to prosper at Chelsea

Photo credit: AFC Bournemouth

Latest News

More News: Latest News

Latest Videos

More Videos: Latest Videos