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Klopp's gamble fails to pay off

Liverpool
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Jurgen Klopp: Dominic Solanke has bright future with Liverpool, England

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is pleased with the progress Dominic Solanke has made since his summer move to Anfield, and has dubbed the young England forward a future player for club and country.

Solanke, 20, made his senior debut for the Three Lions in this week's friendly against Brazil at Wembley.

And although the Chelsea product has started just once for Liverpool thus far, Klopp on Friday expressed his joy with Gareth Southgate's decision to play him against the five-time world champions.

"It was no problem. Dom is a fantastic guy," Klopp told multiple outlets.

"It was 100 percent right. It was a situation where a few players were missing but he will be a future player for England, I am 100 percent convinced of that.

"He has got everything you will need. Okay, in this moment it's really early. He has had a number of games for us but not always many minutes.

"You saw in those 15 minutes [against Brazil] that he got involved immediately. He could have scored.

"I am happy for him. Next time if he is involved it will be no problem. Boys like him, Joe [Gomez], [Tammy] Abraham, [Ruben] Loftus-Cheek. They are the future for England. It is cool. Dom has quality and that's good."

Dominic Solanke has a bright future ahead of him, says Jurgen Klopp.

Solanke has played in 10 matches with Liverpool this campaign, and will start Saturday's clash with Southampton on the substitute's bench.

Klopp continued: "Apart from his football skills, his character is absolutely outstanding.

"He is completely calm with the situation. He had one game from the beginning, okay we lost [against Leicester in the League Cup] but he did really well.

"He is really involved, an important member of the squad. That's what he wanted. He wants to be closer. All the rest he has to do by himself. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to be playing and scoring.

"It hasn't happened too often but he's this close and I am really happy to have him here. He is doing so well and he will not be disappointed if he doesn't start at the weekend.

"He doesn't feel like 'roll out the red carpet.' He is a smart lad, very football smart and that makes him easy to work with."

Klopp received a fitness boost this week, with Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson all available against Saints, which starts a crucial stretch of fixtures for the club.

"Everyone will be required, 100 percent," Klopp said.

"It's not a headache, not even a nice one for this weekend. We just have to make a lineup. The players? If they don't know that I need them all in this period then I cannot help them. That's how it is.

"We need them and we need them in the best, best, best shape. We have only important games.

"Southampton is unbelievably important. Sevilla? Unbelievable. Chelsea? Wow! It goes bam, bam, bam but I am really looking forward to it. It is really good.

"Hopefully we can keep this group healthy, fit and full of desire, ready to go and all that stuff. It's not only an intense period but decisive as well."

Liverpool were tripped up during a crucial stretch that coincided with Mane's injury last season. Klopp praised the depth currently at his disposal 

"The good thing is I am able to forget things like this but you are obviously not! You remind me always!

"Yes, we had some injuries [last season]. It was too much in this period. We had the semi-final of the EFL Cup. It was the wrong moment and stuff like this.

"We were not strong enough, the squad wasn't big enough, players coming back, some injured. If you are not in a rhythm it means you are not the same player you were before you were injured.

"It was a little bit like that with Phil [Coutinho]. He was flying when he got injured and then when he came back it was like 'oh', it was different.

"You need to have a little bit of luck. We didn't have it so far too much. Hopefully now we can use the full squad and that will make a big difference."

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