Jürgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's "smart move" to sign Dominic Solanke after teenager's first goal

Dominic Solanke's move to Liverpool was a "smart" one for both the player and the club believes Reds boss Jürgen Klopp after the teenage striker scored his first goal in club colours in pre-season.

Jürgen Klopp salutes Liverpool's "smart move" to sign Dominic Solanke after teenager's first goal
(Picture: Getty Images - Stanley Chou)

Dominic Solanke's switch to Liverpool was a "smart move" for both the club and the striker himself, according to Jürgen Klopp.

The England U20 international scored his first goal for the Reds in their Premier League Asia Trophy win over Crystal Palace in Hong Kong on Wednesday, firing low into the far bottom corner from 20 yards out. 

Having impressed with several simple yet effective displays so far in pre-season since joining from Chelsea upon the expiry of his contract at Stamford Bridge, Klopp is delighted to have the talented 19-year-old on Merseyside.

The initial expectation was for Solanke to go into Liverpool's Under-23s before proving himself ready to step into the senior environment, though should his current rate of form continue, that bedding in period might not be necessary.

A compensation fee has yet to be decided between Liverpool and the current Premier League champions, with a tribunal expected to be needed to decide how much the Blues will be awarded.

"I think it’s a smart move for him and for us," explained the German. "He saw an opportunity at Liverpool and we see it also."

Klopp insisted that just "having him around", it is "immediately" obvious that Solanke is both "a smart player and a really skilled boy."

He declared himself "really happy" about the teenager being a Liverpool player, adding that he needs "a little bit of luck" to continue his development at a steady rate.

Klopp insisted that "scoring in a game like this" means Solanke "will stay patient 100 per-cent" and reassured that the club will do everything they can so that "hopefully at the end everything will be good."

"Salah would still be going if we hadn't substituted him"

Mohamed Salah also impressed in just his second outing for the Reds, having scored on his uncompetitive debut against Wigan Athletic last Friday. 

The electric Egyptian was Liverpool's liveliest attacking outlet in the first-half, Klopp joking that he "would still be running" around if he "hadn't taken him off the pitch."

On the club-record signing's display, the manager continued: "It was good. It’s nice for everybody to see him on the pitch with his speed, but not only with his speed, also with his football skills."

Klopp revealed that he does not "like to talk too much about single players" and praised the team as a whole for playing "really well." 

Though he said Salah "is a very quick player" and Solanke "is another very good player", Klopp stressed that "there are also others around" and he was "really happy" with the performance as a collective.

"You cannot win against Crystal Palace, even in a pre-season game, if you’re not playing kind of a good game," he said. "And we did this so I’m fine."

Woodburn is too young to force into one position, says Klopp

Klopp was also quizzed about Ben Woodburn, who started alongside fellow Academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold in a strong first-half eleven.

The 17-year-old featured in a deeper central midfield for the third successive pre-season outing, having been utilised on the flanks of a 4-3-3 formation last term.

Klopp noted that it was "not the first time" Woodburn has played in midfield and that he has "played there a few times" because the Wales youth international "is a very smart player."

"He is too young to fix him already for any position, so we only know that we want to have him in and around our team," continued Klopp.

He said that the fact Woodburn is not nailed down to one position is "no problem" because "he can play as a 10" and "he can play on the wing."

Klopp believes "100 per-cent" that the Reds youngster "will get smarter" and enthused that he is "already really smart."

He added that playing him more centrally will allow Woodburn, the club's youngest ever goalscorer after netting against Leeds United in the League Cup at Anfield in November, to "learn the highest level of football under pressure."

Klopp said: "It’s exciting. I have no idea which is his best position, but actually I don't think about it, I am only happy that I have him around."


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