There is a sense of optimism surrounding the future of the England national team following the Young Lions’ victory at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Many players called up to Paul Simpson’s squad were involved in the team that won the European Under-17 Championship in 2014, so there’s clearly plenty of talent coming through.
But the biggest challenge facing those young players is still to come. Breaking into the first team at any Premier League club has been made all the more difficult by the rising number of foreigners in England’s top flight, and many careers that once looked promising have fallen flat.
One player who is tipped for a bright future is striker Dominic Solanke, who scored four goals in South Korea and was awarded the Golden Ball award for being the tournament’s best player.
Solanke joins an illustrious list of players that includes Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Luis Figo to have won the prize.
The 19-year-old is on the verge of leaving Chelsea for Liverpool after agreeing to join the Anfield club. Having found first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge hard to come by in recent years, Solanke will join the Reds when his contract expires on July 1.
Chelsea are entitled to a compensation fee
It’s not a straightforward move, however. Rules regarding home-grown players under the age of 24 mean Chelsea are entitled to a fee from Liverpool, even though he is out of contract.
Liverpool’s offer of £3 million has been dismissed by Chelsea, who were originally expected to demand £8m. The case will go to a tribunal next month if the two clubs can’t agree a fee.
And that seems increasingly likely following the decision Chelsea have made in the wake of the Under-20 World Cup.
Chelsea's latest decision won't please Liverpool
According to the Evening Standard’s Simon Johnson, the Blues will increase Solanke’s compensation fee to £10m as a result of his performances in Asia.
So Liverpool have offered £3m, but Chelsea want £7m more than that. The two clubs couldn’t be further apart.
If the case goes to a tribunal, Solanke’s potential future will be taken into consideration when deciding the price.
Chelsea are prepared to argue that they’ve trained the player since he joined their Academy at Under-8 level and was a part of Chelsea teams that won the FA Youth Cup in 2014 and 2015, and the UEFA Youth League in 2015.
The west London side will also bring up the fee they were ordered to pay Manchester City for Daniel Sturridge when his signing went to a tribunal in 2010.
Chelsea paid City £6.5m - then another £2.5m when Sturridge joined Liverpool in 2013 due to a 15 per cent sell-on clause included in the tribunal’s decision.
Solanke achieved more at youth and international level, something that will work in Chelsea’s favour, and also started his career at the Premier League champions.
Will Solanke be a first-team regular at Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section below!
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