Liverpool's Solanke hoping to revive 'friendly rivalry' with former teammate for England

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2017

Solanke played for the Under-21s in a friendly against Ukraine on Friday, only to be called into the senior side the following day along with fellow newbies Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook to help offset a raft of drop-outs.

"Maybe it's slightly different this time in that we didn't see the use in bringing in a couple of senior players just for a couple of days".

"It was fantastic for him to be named man of the match on his debut and that is something that all the young boys now want to follow".

'Those (three new) guys have fitted in off the field no problem which helps them to fit in on the field - and they're good players, so in training they look fine.

The England Under-21 global left the club in the search of regular first-team football, and despite only featuring scarcely for Liverpool since his arrival at Anfield, he has found himself presented with more frequent opportunities. "But also we want some of these youngsters who've got good pedigree internationally already to have their pathway".

"There's a lot of great talent in English football and we're doing well in the youth tournaments".

"I think it's good experience for him".

The striker added that his call-up came as a "surprise" but that he was ready to seize his opportunity, with the Russian World Cup now just a matter of months away.

It came as a surprise, really, but anything can happen as a footballer. If you get an opportunity you have to take it.

"Things change quickly in football and when you get your chance you have to take it. Being the captain on the pitch is one element of being a captain and then showing leadership around the rest of the time we're in camp is another part", he said. The other two - captain of the Under-20 World Cup winners (Cook) and Golden Boot victor in the Under-20s World Cup (Solanke).