Except for a handful of eager Chelsea fans, the name Domonic Solanke will not have rung any bells until recently. However, it would appear that the youngster has a bright future ahead of him after he was called up to participate in a training session with the senior England squad at St George’s Park for the first time yesterday.
The 17-year-old Chelsea Academy striker, began the day in impressive fashion by collecting his England Youth Player of the Year award, given to him for his eye-catching displays as the national side clinched the Under-17 European Championships last summer.
And his day got a whole lot better as, shortly after receiving the prestigious award, he was doing his best to impress Roy Hodgson alongside the likes of Gary Cahill ahead of this week's international matches.
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"Scary but exciting"
Speaking exclusively to the Chelsea FC website, Solanke acknowledged that the chance to train alongside England's most senior defenders was a huge opportunity, revealing: "I got told just after breakfast that I might be getting called up to train with the first-team and I was just hoping that it would be a yes.
"We were all going down as a squad to watch, then about half an hour before we were going to head over (Under-18s coach) Neil Dewsnip told me that I was going to be training and from then I was just buzzing and really looking forward to it."
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"It was a crazy feeling, a mix of excitement and nerves. Obviously, it's all the best players in England so the level was going to be really high. It was a good stage to try and impress as well."
Making an impression
Although Solanke is still a young, albeit talented player, it would appear that the 17-year-old has made a very good impression on current Blues boss Mourinho and the England coaching team.
The striker had been rewarded for his impressive form for Chelsea's U18's when Mourinho handed Solanke his first-team debut in a Champions League tie against Maribor last October, while he also played a key role in England Under-17s' European Championship triumph.
However, whether the youngster will be able to make his mark on the Chelsea first-team with the likes of Diego Costa and Loic Remy the preferred options, remains to be seen.
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