LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 10, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp speaks with Dominic Solanke after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton, the 229th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp praises Dominic Solanke’s “absolutely right” career decision

With Dominic Solanke set to face Liverpool for Bournemouth, Jurgen Klopp has praised his “absolutely right” career move that saw him leave Anfield.

At 26 years old, Solanke is now one of the most sought-after strikers in the Premier League, but his career progression hasn’t been linear.

Having won the Golden Ball at the 2017 Under-20 World Cup, Solanke moved from Chelsea to Liverpool but only ended up making 27 appearances for the Reds, of which six were starts.

He joined and left Liverpool under Klopp, and now the boss spoken highly of his former player, ahead of their Premier League meeting at the Vitality Stadium.

“I’m so happy for Dom, because when we signed him we were all so excited about the talent he is, and [he] had so much potential when he came here,” Klopp said.

“I’m so happy for him because he’s a wonderful kid, a real talent and a real player.

“He went the hard way, trying here, realising maybe it’s a bit too early, then going to Bournemouth then doing it all the way is really cool.”

In the 2021/22 Championship season he scored 29 goals in 46 games and, now, after acclimatising to the Premier League, he is on target for a 25-goal season, having already netted 13 times in all competitions, this campaign.

Klopp attempted to explain where things went wrong on Merseyside, saying: “It’s Liverpool and we had other good strikers as well.

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 7, 2019: AFC Bournemouth's Dominic Solanke during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at the Vitality Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He was probably at that time not the most clinical yet but the talent was obvious. And then, how it is sometimes, he made the absolute right decision to go to Bournemouth.

“[He] went there through all different stages and, last year, already scored enough goals and now he’s obviously up there with the greatest.

“I’m so happy for him because he’s a wonderful kid, a real talent and a real player.”

He will face arguably his toughest opponents of the season on Sunday, with Ibrahima Konate and ex-teammate Virgil van Dijk attempting to thwart him.

In the reverse league fixture, at Anfield in August, he set up Antoine Semenyo’s goal in the third minute, but ultimately lost as Liverpool came from behind to win 3-1.