Crystal Palace star Aaron Wan-Bissaka is well used to receiving praise by now but following the Eagles’ 1-0 loss at home to Chelsea on Sunday, the full-back found himself singing the praises of Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke.
Just before kick-off, Steve Parish had told the press that a deal for the Reds frontman was all but done, leading them to press Aaron for his views on the move after the game and having played alongside him in the England U21 set-up, Wan-Bissaka was quick to disclose just how good a finisher Solanke is.
Whilst Connor Wickham came off the bench against Maurizio Sarri’s Blues last time out, Palace’s goalscoring woes have been well-documented since August, meaning that Solanke may be thrown into the action rather quickly, easing the pressure somewhat on the team’s talisman Wilfried Zaha. The 26-year-old has been deployed as a lone striker on a number of occasions lately and despite some mild success, it’s clear to see that he would far rather be starting out wide, making Solanke’s seemingly imminent arrival all the more pleasing.
There have been some tentative suggestions that Christian Benteke could return to action when Palace welcome Grimsby to Selhurst Park on the 5th of January, meaning that after months of scraping the barrel, Roy Hodgson might suddenly be blessed with three fit strikers to choose from, all of which would leave Zaha and Townsend to revert to their natural wide positions and give a true feeling of balance to the XI once again.
Whilst no player is likely to ever speak poorly of a fellow professional, the readiness with which Wan-Bissaka talked up Solanke’s potential says a great deal for what will be expected of him in SE25.
Have we got ourselves a gem? I’m hoping so.