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HomeSportsFootballDominic Solanke to Tottenham: Transfer Analysis

Dominic Solanke to Tottenham: Transfer Analysis

Dominic Solanke has been one of the names that is creeping high up the list of elite clubs’ transfer lists lately, owing to his form in-front of goal which comes directly in-regards with the attractive style of football that Bournemouth play under Andoni Iraola.

Solanke has had quite some first half of the Premier League season having netted 12 goals in nineteen appearances, helping the Cherries place themselves to twelfth on the table. He is playing some of the best football of his life.

Combine that with 15 and 29-goal seasons in the Championship before promotion, and it’s clear that it’s not an unsustainable purple patch. We’re seeing the ascent to stardom for a prodigy who was tipped to be great a long time ago.

Eyebrows were raised when Bournemouth paid nearly £18 million to Liverpool for his services as an unproven prospect. A few years on, he is finally making good on his potential. That £18 million might end up looking like a bargain in the long-term.

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BREAKING DOWN SOLANKE

For a striker to play under Ange Postecoglou, he should be able to link up the play, and bring in forwards like into the game is a big traits. And most importantly, having the ability to press from the front intelligently by cutting off passing angles to force high turnovers is a crucial trait.

Solanke is developing into an extremely efficient pressing forward who is a goal threat as well. This distinction in on-ball ability is clearest in their progressive carries and take-ons stat. Solanke’s penchant for getting involved in the buildup is clear. He ranks in the 79th and 80th percentile for those parameters.

Dominic recently scored that hat-trick against Nottingham Forest, and his gaffer answered with sparking eyes in the post-match conference describing his style of play, “He can play in a low block because he is very good at attacking spaces on the counter. If we have more possession like today, he is very good inside the box.”

Iraola ended that press conference saying, Solanke is becoming “a complete No 9”. That is something which stayed with me while researching for this piece, “A complete No 9” – and Iraola is more than right in many ways. If we go beyond the scoring charts, the 26-year-old is getting into better positions and his chances are falling closer to goal which in-turn raises the probability of those chances ending up behind the keeper. In the chart below (prepared by The Athletic), you can see how his xG is on an inflating trail with the passing season and the depth of that scoring circle has widened while being closer to the opponents’ goal.

dominic_solanke_shot_evolution_depth

dominic_solanke_heat_map

While Solanke is maintaining a similar touch volume this season (34.1) compared to the previous one (35.4), however, the notable difference lies in the origin of these touches. Statistically, he stands out with 66 progressive ball receptions into the opposition box, ranking as the 3rd-highest in Europe’s Top 5 leagues (via. breakingthelines).

Solanke also ranks bronze in statistics for the most shots in Europe’s Top Five Leagues for the 2023/24 season with 70 shots behind Kylian Mbappé (75 shots) and Loïs Openda (72 shots). To bring that into prospective, he had only 76 shots across the season last time around.

This is a complement of how Bournemouth’s are using him and attacking spaces under Iraola, and how Solanke can be a deadly nightmare for opponents with time.

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COMPARING SOLANKE TO TOTTENHAM FORWARDS

Tottenham did bring in Timo Werner on loan this window, who comes as a cover for Heung-min Son, who is away for Asia Cup with South Korea. We recently put the question whether Timo Werner to Spurs is the most interesting transfer this winter to words as his role under coach Marco Rose brought out a lot of positive influence of him over the Leipzig team, his G/A tallies aside, his role as a left forward in Rose’s system meant he was able to influence final 3rd activity of Leipzig well, and that ensured Leipzig usually scored high. And by the looks of it, that is what Timo is brought to do at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as well.

That makes me slide into a bigger question, is Solanke a Harry Kane replacement then? That question is a difficult one to answer but he does possess arsenal that screams a BIG SIX striker. We will compare Solanke’s output this season with other forward options Tottenham have:

Tottenham-Forwards-compared-23-24

THE BOURNEMOUTH DEMAND

According to a recent report by Football Insider, any pursuing club will likely have to pay in excess of £50million to have a chance in securing the services of Dominic Solanke come summer. The report also claims that the Cherries are bracing for an offer already, from League rivals Newcastle United as they hope to solve the injury concerns that has haunted them upfront this season with Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson.

Despite all the rumours complemented by a potential intention of Solanke to move on from South Coast, he recently put pen to paper at the Vitality Stadium that keeps him at the club till 2027 and having that security of time backing them puts them in a driving seat for any potential knock on the doors.

MUST READ:

– Scouting Mikey Moore – Tottenham’s goalscoring prodigy on the wings
– Timo Werner to Spurs: The most interesting transfer this winter?
– Grace Clinton: Scouting United’s gem on Loan at Spurs

– Giovani Lo Celso – Keep or Sell?
– Radu Dragusin to Spurs: Can the Romanian Defender address Ange’s Woes?

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