Free-scoring Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke has put his finger on precisely why his Liverpool career never got off the ground.
Solanke, 24, was thought to be a smart pick-up when Liverpool snatched him from Chelsea in 2017. Because of his age, the fee Liverpool paid was determined by a tribunal. The Reds believed the figure should have been around £3m, while Chelsea sought over triple that at £10m.
That was an indication of the high regard in which Solanke was held at Stamford Bridge.
Now, speaking to Goal (via the Liverpool Echo), Solanke has lifted the lid on his move between the two giants.
“My contract at Chelsea finished and I was just looking at my options. Liverpool came in,” said Solanke.
“They’re such a big club and I knew they wanted to give young players opportunities. I think that’s what drove me to go there.”
The opportunities Solanke spoke of were unfortunately in short supply. The marksman made just 27 appearances across all competitions before leaving for Bournemouth 18 months later.
Liverpool received £19m in the deal and were hailed for hiking up the price at the time. However, Solanke has thrived since joining Bournemouth, evidenced by his 14 strikes in just 18 outings this season.
His attention then turned to why his Liverpool career failed to ignite. Solanke pointed to the insurmountable barrier of Liverpool’s famed front three ensuring he never got a fair shake.
“Nothing’s a given in football and the front three when I was there were just phenomenal,” he added.
“I don’t think anyone would have got in ahead of them [Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino].
“I wasn’t as prolific as I am now, so that played a part as well, but it was always going to be difficult to break into a top team with quality players like that.”
Gerrard reveals what Klopp has promised him
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has revealed a promise from Jurgen Klopp after he returned to the Premier League as the new manager of Aston Villa.
The Reds legend will take charge of his first game as Villa boss against Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday. A clash against his old side will then take place at Anfield in December in what is sure to be an emotionally-charged encounter.
The exact date for the fixture is December 11 and Gerrard has revealed what Klopp said to him after hearing he had taken the role at Villa Park.
“I’ve been in touch with Klopp, I bump into him when he walks his dogs,’ Gerrard said at a press conference on Thursday.
“He sent me a message saying he is “looking forward to a big hug on the side” when Villa play Liverpool next month.”