By Matt Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
So, on Friday, news broke quite suddenly that Eddie Howe was interested in taking both Nathaniel Clyne and Dominic Solanke to the Vitality Stadium.
Both players had been linked with moves away from Anfield for some time now, but Bournemouth was never mentioned. Regardless, hours after links were originally made, both had signed with the South Coast club.
Props have to be given to Bournemouth, not only for the way they acted quickly in securing the players, but also for acquiring two quality players who will no doubt help improve their season.
On the Liverpool side of things, the departures have been met with confusion, and now we’ll go into why this is.
Nathaniel Clyne – Loan (end of season)
This is certainly the most confusing one of the two.
Clyney is one of Liverpool’s most senior defenders and their most experienced right-back. Upon Klopp’s arrival at Anfield, the defender joined Adam Lallana as one of the German’s most utilised players.
Clyne was one of the first names on the team-sheet, and remained as such until an injury saw Trent Alexander-Arnold called to action to cover the former England man, and there he’s stayed ever since.
Since the emergence of Trent, chances have been few and far between for Clyne, with many Liverpool fans accepting that the full-back would soon be seeking pastures new. What makes this transfer so confusing though is the timing, as I for one was convinced if he was to leave it would be in the summer.
This season, the Reds seem to be in the best position ever to challenge for the Premier League title – currently four points clear with only one loss in 21 games.
So far this season, TAA and Joe Gomez has been sharing the right-flank. However, an injury hit December saw both players forced onto the treatment table – leaving Clyne as the only fit senior RB.
Fortunately for the Anfield Faithful, Arnold is fully recovered and back in the starting lineup. However, with Gomez still out, cover remains short. Moreover, given how injury-hit December was, Liverpool fans are understandably concerned as now the club finds themselves with one less defender in what is proving to be an ever more important campaign.
Time will only tell if this loan deal comes back to haunt Klopp – with Gomez reportedly only two weeks away from recovery, things don’t look too bleak, however, we all know how quickly things can change in football.
Dominic Solanke – £19million + add-ons
This isn’t as confusing as much as it is disappointing, in my opinion.
It is no secret that Dom Solanke was looking to leave Anfield in the January window. However, we all thought it would be in a loan capacity as opposed to a permanent move.
Solanke was certainly a player for the future and one with bags of potential. I, for one, was very excited to see the youngster grow and progress in a Liverpool top, as I feel like with Klopp’s guidance, he could have turned him into one of the Premier League’s most lethal strikers.
With this being said, Solanke’s game time has been very limited at Liverpool, playing a bit-part role at best. This season, the return to fitness of both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge has certainly done him no favours, with the youth international not making a single appearance for Klopp.
I think it’s safe to say that we all would have rather the youngster leave on a loan deal. However, a £19 million fee would have been a ludicrous amount to turn down. It’s understandable why Liverpool accepted the offer – in the same breath, it’s similarly obvious why the youngster chose to leave.
Bournemouth and Eddie Howe are famed for bringing through young talent and playing an exciting attack-minded brand of football – something that suits the striker down to a tee.
What confuses me more than anything with this deal, is the apparent lack of a buy-back clause. Liverpool have been very smart of late when allowing youngsters to leave, in the sense that they will always include an option to purchase back their player for a cut-price fee.
Given the praise Solanke has received from Klopp this season, I for one expected such a clause to be inserted, however as of yet no mention of this suppose clause has surfaced. With this being said, it is possible that all the details have not yet been made public.
At the end of the day I understand why both clubs agreed to the deal, and ultimately the move seems to be a good one for the player. On the surface, the fee in question certainly makes the deal look better for Liverpool.
However, if no buy-back clause has been inserted, then Bournemouth may well have made a very good investments for seasons to come.