Published 11/06/2017 at 15:09 GMT | Updated 11/06/2017 at 17:41 GMT
Liverpool have stolen a gem in Solanke
You’ve got to wonder if there were some at Stamford Bridge who watched the U20 World cup and thought whether it might have been worth acquiescing to Dominic Solanke’s demands.
The forward won the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player and he will now complete a move from Chelsea to Liverpool, in a bid for more playing time. It is reported that this is the key factor in Solanke’s move, and Liverpool aren’t necessarily paying the sort of wages he was demanding from Chelsea.
Ignoring what this says about the culture of progression Chelsea have created given they have the best academy in the country, for that is an issue that warrants its own separate article, it’s worth stressing how good of a player Liverpool have got.
Of course the Golden Ball comes with its own warning; for every Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba or Lionel Messi there is a Ismail Matar, Dominic Adiyiah or Henrique but Solanke has all the tools needed to be a success at Liverpool. He’s quick, intelligent with his movement and he knows where the goal is. He’s capable of playing anywhere across the front line as well and whatever fee the tribunal decides on could end up being a bargain for Liverpool.
HIGHLIGHTS: England win U20 World Cup after Calvert-Lewin strike
Everton may not need to spend big to replace Lukaku
Everton are involved in one of the biggest transfer sagas of the summer, even if it could well be resolved well before pre-season even starts.
It looks as if the Belgian will leave, most likely for Chelsea, and that will leave a 25-goal gap in the team. With the money that comes in, combined with what they could get should Ross Barkley also move on, then the temptation for Ronald Koeman must be to splash the cash.
However Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have been two of the brightest spots for England in this tournament and whilst they don’t command the same level of attention as Lukaku there’s no reason why they couldn’t be trusted to score the goals for Everton. Of course it’s a big risk but then again both they and West Brom took risks when they signed a young Lukaku on loan from Chelsea.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin gives England the lead
The goalkeeping situation looks promising despite Hart’s blunders
It seemed telling that Freddie Woodman put in such a good performance, making an excellent penalty stop as well as other saves, less than 24 hours after Joe Hart was chastised for letting in two Leigh Griffiths free-kicks.
Hart has kept his place despite repeated errors in an England shirt and it has led to discussions over whether there is truly any adequate replacement. With the return to fitness of Jack Butland, as well as the promise of Jordan Pickford and Woodman it is clear that there should be no qualms of the identity of the man between the sticks in the coming years.
Woodman saves Penaranda penalty
Question marks over progression still remain
Despite the incredible success of this group of players it is still a concern that so few of these players are regulars for their clubs, be that in the Premier League or below.
Someone like Lewis Cook, captain and one of the better players, made just nine appearances for Bournemouth last season. The obscene amount of money in English football has intensified the demands for instant results, which has seen the level of trust in youth at the highest level visibly decline.
Venezuela's forward Ronaldo Pena (L) and England's midfielder Lewis Cook compete for the ball during the U-20 World Cup final football match between England and Venezuela in Suwon on June 11, 2017.
Image credit: Getty Images
The solution to the problem is not clear. Ultimately more managers have to put more faith in these evidently talented players.