Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp blasts Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho for Dominic Solanke claim | Football | Sport
Liverpool signed Solanke on a free transfer from Chelsea a year ago but, so far, the player has struggled for game time over on Merseyside.
Yesterday, Manchester United manager Mourinho hit out at his critics over his handling of Marcus Rashford – aiming a shot at Klopp and Solanke in the process.
“Speaking about Marcus, I think I can expect that Sunday I’m going to be highly criticised for not playing him tomorrow, because some of the boys are really obsessed with me and some of them have a problem with some compulsive lies,” said Mourinho.
“In 2016-17, Marcus Rashford played 32 Premier League matches, 11 Europa League matches, including the final, three FA Cup matches, six League Cup matches, including the final, and the Community Shield.
“He had 53 appearances, but if you want to take to the minutes of play, he played 3,068, and if you wan to divide that by 90-minute matches, he played 34.2 matches of 90-minute matches in 2016-17.
“In 2017-18, he played 35 Premier League matches, eight in the Champions League, five in the FA Cup, three League Cup matches and the European Super Cup final.
“He played a total of 52 matches with 2,676 mins, and if you divide that by 90, it gives you 29.7 matches, so with me, in two seasons, he had 105 appearances, 5,774 mins, 63.7 matches of 90 minutes, including five finals, so the people speaking about these minutes, I think they are a bit confused.
“Marcus is not Dominic Solanke, not Ruben Loftus-Cheek, not Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he’s Marcus Rashford, a Manchester United player, with an incredible number of appearances and an incredible number of minutes played at the highest level in the best possible competitions.”
And Klopp, speaking ahead of Liverpool’s match with Tottenham, has now responded.
“It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear,” Klopp said.
“He is a young striker and young strikers generally need longer in a big club. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no-one in this world is patient enough.
“But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving.
“He had good games last season, not enough minutes that is true, but he is still young and will have enough minutes in his career.
“When we cannot use him as a striker, we still work with him to try and fulfil his potential. I think we are really on a good way with that. We don’t have a problem with young English players not being involved often enough.
“There is no pressure. I don’t like to talk about what other people said, but Dom Solanke is a fantastic young player. Our situation here is that we have four players in Bobby, Daniel, Divock (Origi) and Dom. We have this squad and we need it.
“If Dom works hard – and that is all what he needs to do to secure the rest of his career – then everything will be fine because of his talent and his skills.
“I don’t know exactly where Harry Kane was at the same stage of his career but it was all over the country playing and not playing.
“I remember a picture of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy sitting on the bench for Leicester. They obviously didn’t start that day but they made their way.
“It is really difficult for strikers to get the one spot or one of the two. We are still 100% sure everything will be fine for Dom.”