By 90Min
November 07, 2018

2019 feels like it will be a pivotal year for Dominic Solanke. The 21-year-old seems to be completely lost in Liverpool's reserves, failing to make the bench for the 2-0 defeat to Tuesday's Red Star - with forgotten man Divock Origi instead taking his place.

The striker has not been seen in a Liverpool shirt this season, with the closest thing to an appearance coming as an unused substitute against former club Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. 

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Now that Jurgen Klopp's side are out of that competition, it is hard to see where Solanke's minutes could come from, which is a real shame for such a talented youngster.

Solanke is a product of Chelsea's youth academy, and was certainly one of the most exciting prospects to have ever emerged from the club. He was astonishingly prolific alongside the likes of Tammy Abraham, Izzy Brown and Charly Musonda, and clearly trusted his abilities when he left the club in search of guaranteed first-team minutes.

By allowing Solanke to walk away, Chelsea effectively admitted that they did not see an immediate pathway to the senior side. Instead of becoming another member of Chelsea's vast loan army, Solanke took the bold step of moving to another of England's biggest sides.

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He made several appearances for Liverpool during his first season with the club, but many lasted less than ten minutes. However, even that would be an upgrade on his current situation.

Daniel Sturridge was given the nod against Red Star, and understandably so. The 29-year-old has worked incredibly hard and has been impressing on the pitch, but it is not Sturridge's inclusion which proved to be a devastating blow to Solanke, but Origi's.

Like Solanke, Origi had not been seen in a Liverpool shirt this season, suggesting that Jurgen Klopp does not have much faith in the 23-year-old. However, with Origi favoured ahead of Solanke, it seems as though the young Englishman has fallen to fourth-choice striker at best, which is exactly what he wanted to avoid at Chelsea.

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The pathway to the first team seems to have completely disappeared for Solanke. He needs to find a club who are willing to offer him regular minutes, and it may be that he needs to drop down to the Championship

Former striker partner Tammy Abraham has netted four goals in ten outings for Aston Villa, which is far better for his development than stagnating in a reserve side. Big things were expected for both Abraham and Solanke and, whilst Abraham's situation is certainly far from perfect, he is at least gaining valuable match experience.

Solanke must be respected for backing his own abilities, but it is time to be realistic. A loan would be a good option, but a permanent move would give Solanke the chance to start again. With a new home, he would be given time to rebuild his reputation and prove why Liverpool were keen on him in the first place.

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