Dom Solanke left speechless by Stamford Bridge debut

Wednesday 22 Oct 2014
Dominic Solanke made his Chelsea bow against Maribor
Dominic Solanke says he was lost for words after making his Chelsea debut in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.

The England U18s striker was on the bench for Jose Mourinho’s men on Tuesday evening as they faced Slovenian outfit Maribor and ran out convincing 6-0 winners.

And Solanke was introduced to the action in the 73rd minute, replacing Brazilian midfielder Oscar as the Blues went on to score another two goals in the later stages.

Dominic Solanke in action for England U18s against Italy.

Solanke in action for England U18s against Italy earlier this season

"I'm speechless," said the Reading-born youngster. 

"Making my debut at Stamford Bridge in front of all these fans in the Champions League is a dream come true."

The 17-year-old had previously been on the Chelsea bench for their Premier League match at Crystal Palace last weekend.

And having impressed Mourinho during pre-season with his squad, he was rewarded with a taste of the action alongside some of Chelsea’s star names.

"It's amazing, there's a lot of great strikers and world-class footballers at Chelsea so you can only learn," he added.

"He's [Mourinho] always helping me and trying to improve me and it's amazing to work for him, so if he has faith in me, that's one of the best things that you can hope for."

Solanke has been a regular for England over the last two seasons too, earning caps at U16 and U17 level before picking up a Euro Championship medal with John Peacock’s side earlier this year.

And with fellow Young Lions Izzy Brown and Lewis Baker also pushing for a first-team chance with the Blues along with the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Pat Bamford out on loan, he believes there will be more players to follow him.

“For him it was also a perfect situation - something he never forgets”

Jose Mourinho 

"We've got a lot of quality throughout the academy really," he said. 

"I think quite a few could get a chance if they keep working well. I’m just lucky to have been one today.

"You've just got to be confident and try to show your ability and if you get a chance, you've just got to take it."

Mourinho himself spoke about Solanke's introduction, admitting it was an ideal scenario for the player in front of a home crowd and with the scoreline in favour of his side.

"Solanke is in the phase of the talent that we know that is there, but is far from being there," said the Portuguese. 

"For him it was also a perfect situation - something he never forgets and for sure he's going to play many, many Champions League matches, because he'll be a very good player."

By Nicholas Veevers