According to reports from the Daily Record, Celtic are close to sealing the signature of Chelsea youth striker Dominic Solanke at the end of the season.
The young striker’s current deal with the Premier League champions is set to expire at the end of the season and while the club have been intent on getting him to sign a new contract, Solanke has been firm in his refusal due to the slim chances of him getting first team football at Stamford Bridge. And the Bhoys are looking to capitalize on the situation as they are in a position to sign the player for as less as £400,000.
The 19-year old Solanke has widely been regarded as one of the best prospects to have come through the Chelsea academy in recent years. The English youth international burst onto the scenes in the 2014/15 season where he took the Premier League2 by storm at the age of 16. Solanke scored 13 goals from 18 games in the Youth Premier League and also managed an amazing 13 strikes from 9 games in the UEFA Youth League as well. Solanke finished the campaign with 31 goals from 34 games, establishing himself as one of the future stars for the Blues.
The subsequent season, he was farmed out on loan to Chelsea’s feeder club Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands where he managed 7 goals from 25 games. However, his refusal to ink a new deal this season has seen him get frozen out of action at Chelsea. Solanke has been relegated to just 5 games this term, scoring 2 goals. The 19-year old, over the years, has also been a prolific goalscorer for the England youth national teams throughout all the age groups.
Celtic pulled off a similar deal last season to sign highly-rated striker Moussa Dembele after his contract with Fulham expired and boy didn’t that turn out to be a masterstroke! The 20-year old Frenchman has managed to score a whopping 32 strikes in his debut campaign and has been the focal point of Celtic’s unrivaled domestic success this season.
Solanke has all the potential to be a similar success for Brendan Rodgers’ side. The young starlet is fast, has the physical attributes to tough it out and is an excellent dribbler of the ball as well. In his short career, Solanke has shown a natural predatory instinct in front of goal and has all the necessary attributes to develop into a potent marksman in the future.
Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho rates the young striker very highly and handed him his only first-team appearance till date during the Portuguese’s second spell at Stamford Bridge in 2014.
“My conscience tells me that if, for example, Baker, Brown, and Solanke are not national team players in a few years, I should blame myself,” Jose said back in 2014 as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Strong and powerful, Solanke has the ability to lead the line by himself and as shown in the past two years that he can deliver goals in plenty as well. Considering that he will be available for a sum of just around £400,000, the signing if completed, could turn out to be another touch of a masterstroke from the Scottish outfit.