Jurgen Klopp has hinted Dominic Solanke could leave Liverpool on loan in January, but remains committed to his development “so he can help us.”
Solanke has only once this season made the matchday squad for the first team, and he spent the 2-1 loss to former club Chelsea in the League Cup on the substitutes’ bench.
Elsewhere, he has turned out twice for the Liverpool U23s, scoring against both Swansea and Leicester, and worryingly his most regular source of minutes has come with the England U21s.
This month, he netted four times in two games for the Young Lions, with braces against Italy and Denmark—including a brilliant backheeled effort in the 5-1 defeat of the latter.
Asked what Solanke’s immediate future holds at his pre-Watford press conference on Friday, Klopp responded saying “we will see.”
“First of all it was brilliant, not only Dom, but it’s really interesting if you saw the game against Italy,” he enthused.
“Wow, this could be the world’s best U21 team ever, if you think about the players who could play for them from the first team.
“Trent, Chilwell, Rashford…unbelievable. That’s really good and he is their striker and did really well.
“The situation here is a bit difficult, that’s how it is. But if Dom continues how he is so far he will be fine, 100 percent.
“But there’s nothing to say about the short or long term, he’s our player and if I have to decide that, he will stay that as well.”
Asked directly whether Solanke would benefit more from staying to train with the Liverpool first team or leaving on loan in January, Klopp remained coy.
But his answer suggested the 21-year-old’s prospects are at least under consideration, albeit with a view to remaining with the Reds for the long term.
“In the moment there’s no alternative to it, but we will see,” he added.
“We will talk about that with the players first, so they don’t have to watch boring press conferences to know what I think about them.
“We will see what happens, but we want to help Dom so he can help us. That’s the target.”
Solanke’s struggles are compounded by the endurance of Roberto Firmino and the revival of Daniel Sturridge, with Rhian Brewster‘s imminent return also impacting his prospects.
It would arguably be a better solution for both player and club if he were allowed to depart on loan, though the hope would be this comes in a top-flight league.