Dominic Ayodele Solanke-Mitchell (born 14 September 1997), known as Dominic Solanke is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Liverpool.
Solanke started his career with Chelsea, making his first-team debut in October 2014. He spent the 2015–16 season on loan with Vitesse in the Eredivisie. He signed for Liverpool in July 2017.
Solanke has represented England at at all youth, under-21 and senior levels. He has won the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship and the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup with his country and received the Golden Ball award for best player in the latter tournament.
Solanke started his career with Chelsea in 2004 in their under-eight team. During the 2013–14 season, Solanke scored 20 goals in 25 appearances for the under-18 team. On 6 May 2014, he scored two late goals as Chelsea came from two goals down to beat local rivals Fulham 7–6 on aggregate in the FA Youth Cup Final. On 29 July 2014, José Mourinho stated a belief that he should blame himself were Solanke not to become a senior England international under his management, and indicated that the player would train with the first-team squad during the 2014–15 season.
Solanke signed his first professional contract with Chelsea in September 2014. Due to the injury of Diego Costa, Solanke was named on the bench for a Premier League match against Crystal Palace on 18 October 2014. Three days later, he made his first-team debut as a substitute for Oscar in the 73rd minute of a 6–0 win over NK Maribor in the UEFA Champions League. This made him the youngest player to debut in the UEFA Champions League for Chelsea.
He finished as top scorer in the group stages of the UEFA Youth League after scoring a hat-trick in the final group stage match against Sporting CP. On 10 April 2015, Solanke scored two goals in the semi-final of the 2014–15 UEFA Youth League against A.S. Roma to send Chelsea into the final. He scored in the 3–2 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Youth League final, ending the tournament with 12 goals in nine appearances as Chelsea won the title. On 20 April 2015, Solanke scored a late goal to give team side a 3–1 win in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final against Manchester City. He played in the 2–1 win in the second leg, as Chelsea won the final 5–2 on aggregate. On 7 May 2015, Solanke reached 41 goals for the season after scoring a hat-trick in a 4–3 victory over Liverpool U21. He was awarded the inaugural Chelsea Academy Player of the Year award for the 2014–15 season.
2015–16 season: Loan to Vitesse
On 4 August 2015, Solanke joined Eredivisie club Vitesse on a season-long loan to gain first-team experience. After getting approval from FIFA to play in the Netherlands, he made his debut on 23 August 2015, coming off the bench in the 79th minute against Feyenoord, the match ending in a 2–0 defeat for Vitesse. A week later, Solanke scored his first goal in a 4–1 victory over SC Cambuur after coming off the bench with 15 minutes to go. He ended the season with seven goals in 25 appearances, just three behind top scorer Valeri Qazaishvili and one behind runner-up Milot Rashica.
After rejecting many loan offers from several clubs, Solanke was retained as Chelsea’s third-choice striker behind Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi for the first half of the 2016–17 season. On 23 August 2016, he was involved in Chelsea’s matchday squad for the first time since returning from his loan at Vitesse, for their EFL Cup home tie against Bristol Rovers. He remained as an unused substitute in the Chelsea’s 3–2 victory. In February 2017, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte confirmed that it was likely that Solanke would leave the club in the summer upon the expiry of his contract.
On 30 May 2017, Solanke agreed to sign for Premier League club Liverpool on 1 July upon the expiration of his Chelsea contract. He was officially confirmed as a Liverpool player on 10 July 2017, with Liverpool expected to pay a tribunal-set fee of around £3 million. He made his debut for the club on 16 August 2017, coming on as a substitute for Roberto Firmino in a 2–1 UEFA Champions League first-leg win over Hoffenheim. His first Premier League start for Liverpool came on 30 November in a 3–0 win over Stoke at Anfield.