Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke should have scored in win over Stoke

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp hailed the performance of Dominic Solanke on his first Premier League start but insisted the youngster should also have scored his first goal for the club.

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke should have scored in win over Stoke
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Jürgen Klopp hailed Dominic Solanke's performance after the striker made his first ever Premier League start in Liverpool's win at Stoke City, but declared he should have also scored his first top-flight goal.

The 20-year-old was handed a shock start, his first for the Reds since joining from Chelsea in the summer, for the trip to the bet365 Stadium as Klopp looked to rotate his squad.

Solanke - who made his England debut earlier this month - he rewarded his manager with a fine display on a cold night in the Potteries.

He set up Sadio Mané's opening goal after 17 minutes with some clever close control and might have had a second assist when he released the Senegalese winger to hit the post before half-time.

But Solanke should have marked the occasion with a first league goal, wasting a fine first-half opportunity, firing a tame 20-yard attempt straight at Lee Grant.

Liverpool claimed a well-earned three points against Mark Hughes' men, Solanke's replacement Mohamed Salah coming from the bench to score a brace to help Klopp's team up to fifth in the table.

Klopp pleased with display of "fantastic" Solanke

The Liverpool boss - on Solanke's display - said: "He should have scored. A fantastic boy, well deserved and I am really happy for him that he could do that. He is a fantastic player.

"He can improve in pretty much everything, but he is already a good player. That’s probably the best news. I am really happy that I could give him this opportunity tonight.

"He has to work like all the others, but everybody who is with England looked tonight and thought, 'oh, that looks good'. He is a really good player."


Reds boss satisfied with squad depth

The German made six changes to his starting line-up as he once again utilised the depth of his squad, having rested Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané for the draw at Chelsea the previous weekend.

Klopp declared himself pleased with the options he has available to him ahead of a hectic festive period - with eight fixtures awaiting in December alone.

He said: "We have to protect [the players] and I am happy about the options I have. We thought about this option and that option.

"Ragnar Klavan was ill and Dejan Lovren was not fit in this moment, so if Raggy is fit, Dejan is today not in the squad. Now he started and that's how things are.

"Yes, we have options to change and I am happy about all of them – and Adam [Lallana] is not fit for another three or four days – but I am happy about the options."