Arsenal will try and lure Dominic Solanke to the Emirates Stadium this summer as contract talks with Chelsea have stalled. According to reports the young Chelsea prospect has yet to agree a new contract with the Blues and is now weighing up his options.
The 18-year-old striker who is currently on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem has thrown his future at Stamford Bridge into doubt after demanding wages of £50,000 a week. Solanke who has only played 17 minutes of first team football for Chelsea’s first team also wants assurances he will be given more opportunities with the first team.
Dominic Solanke has scored seven goals in 22 games for Vitesse Arnhem which is impressive for such a young player. Solanke caught the eye of a lot of clubs after he scored an astonishing 41 goals for Chelsea youth teams but instead of being given a chance he was shipped out on loan by Jose Mourinho.
Solanke is regarded one of the brightest young players in the country and certainly at Chelsea. In 2014 Solanke was named England Youth Player of the Year.
Solanke, who currently earns £8,000 a week contract runs out at the end of next season and Chelsea will not be held to ransom by his demands. Chelsea are also reluctant to guarantee the youngster first team opportunities with new manager Antonio Conte coming in the summer.
Although it is very unlikely Arsenal will agree to paying the youngster £50,000 a week, Solanke would certainly be assured of first team opportunities and will be given hope of making a break through with the Gunners. Arsene Wenger has always promoted the youth with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Hector Bellerin and Alex Iwobi all recent graduates who are now enjoying first team life at the Emirates.
Chelsea haven’t exactly done the same, they are very reluctant on giving young players a chance. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is the latest Chelsea youngster to be given a chance by Guus Hiddink but they have been known to buy established stars and ignore their emerging talents.
Arsenal are certainly on the hunt for a new striker, does Solanke fit the bill?
With the likes of Chuba Akpom and Yaya Sango who are currently on loan to Championship clubs, we look at how Solanke compares to both youngsters and also Arsenal’s most in form striker at the moment Danny Welbeck.
Solanke scores 0.36 goals per 90 mins, although this may be a worry he is at the tender age of 18. Akpom has managed just 0.16 whilst on loan at Hull. Solanke creates 1.04 chances compared to Welbeck (1.03) and Akpom (0.63). Arsenal have relied on Mesut Ozil a lot this season for assists, possibly because he is one of the best number 10’s in the world but they still need other players who can help. Although none of the above play the number 10 role Welbeck has contributed to 0.34 on assists which is very good for a striker. Sanogo is second with 0.23 and both Solanke and Akpom last on 0.05. Successful take on’s can help any striker in the world as it will help you get past the defence and ultimately give you an opportunity to score a goal. Welbeck trumps all in terms of successful take ons (2.41) with Akpom second (1.52) and Solanke third (0.83).
In summary, Solanke would be a very good signing for Arsenal but in all honestly he would not be a signing with instant impact. Solanke would be given chances now and then in the league but ultimately play in the domestic cup competitions. Arsenal will be reluctant to pay the wages Solanke is demanding but will definitely at least give him chances in the first team. But Arsenal really need to sign a clinical, experienced, established striker. They should be looking for player with calibre of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Karim Benzema or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. If they fail to do so they will once again fall short on the title and will not progress in European competitions. They need to be looking elsewhere and trying to find an elite striker, if they do so and sign Solanke on top that it would be top business from the Gunners.