Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce has hit out at Premier League giants Liverpool for their misuse of Dominic Solanke.
The former Chelsea youth star has rarely played for the first team this season and Bruce believes that these players should be allowed to play regularly in the lower leagues.
The 20-year-old forward, who was handed his senior England debut against Brazil earlier this month, has played just 84 minutes in the Premier League so far.
Instead of sitting on the bench for top Premier League clubs, Bruce believes that the players will develop faster and benefit from playing regular first-team football in the lower leagues.
There is no doubt that Bruce’s remarks are logical and loaning these young players out is the right thing to do.
The Aston Villa manager labelled Solanke’s situation at Liverpool as ‘ludicrous’. It will be interesting to see whether Klopp responds to these comments now.
Steve Bruce said: “We need the larger clubs to have associations with the smaller ones. Feeder clubs? Yes. The general consensus is that the Under-23s isn’t quite working. If you play when you are 18 and you are successful, you need the next step. At the moment, we’ve got the ludicrous situation of Solanke playing for England when he’s hardly had a game with Liverpool. That can’t be right. We have young players all over the country doing well – but not playing. Surely any young, talented player would prefer turning out for the likes of Forest Green, Bury, Oldham Athletic – you’re better playing there for three months and learning your trade than in the Under-23s. I think something like a draft system could work. Loans definitely benefit parent clubs.”
Aston Villa could definitely use someone like Solanke for the rest of the season and it will be interesting to see whether they make a loan move for him in January. However, Bruce’s comments regarding Liverpool might not go down too well with the Anfield hierarchy and that could complicate a transfer.