Pre-season is a time for players to build up their fitness ahead of the new season, with players who would perhaps struggle for playing time in competitive fixtures given valuable minutes with the first team.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp almost certainly had this in mind when he selected young striker Dominic Solanke in his starting eleven for the club’s International Challenge Cup clash against rivals Manchester United.
However, a large number of Liverpool fans were not quite as sympathetic as the German manager to Solanke’s need for first-team minutes, with many having their say on the matter via social media.
Anticipation was high for the arrival of Solanke at Anfield after Liverpool poached the young forward from Premier League rivals Chelsea, after the 20-year-old was named as the Player of the Tournament at last summer’s Under-20 World Cup.
However, it seems that one year on public opinion on Solanke has soured, with many Liverpool fans more keen to see the eternally injured Daniel Sturridge given minutes instead.
Solanke made 27 appearances in his maiden season at Liverpool but scored just once in a 4-0 win over Brighton on the final day of the season.
The striker’s performances for Chelsea and England’s youth setup saw him selected in Gareth Southgate’s squad in November 2017, coming off the bench to make his debut against Brazil.
However, it would seem that until Solanke rediscovers the form that made him such an attractive prospect at Chelsea, a second England cap will almost certainly continue to elude him.
As for Liverpool, the poor form of Solanke and the continued disappointment of Sturridge and Belgian forward Divock Origi has left some fans concerned that the club do not have an adequate backup for Roberto Firmino, despite the club’s heavy investment in the transfer market this summer.