'I'm a different player now' - Solanke ready for his return to the Prem

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Dominic Solanke was prolific in the Championship this season (Pic: Stuart Martin)
Dominic Solanke was prolific in the Championship this season (Pic: Stuart Martin)

DOMINIC Solanke is targeting a strong return to the Premier League after a prolific spell away from the top-flight.

Throughout the 2021-22 campaign, Solanke established himself as head coach Scott Parker’s main man at Cherries, with his boss enthusing about his “physical numbers” throughout the season.

A massive part of Cherries’ promotion last term, the 24-year-old contributed 29 league goals in 46 games as his side secured second place in the Championship.

In total, the former Liverpool and Chelsea man notched 44 goals in 86 Championship appearances, also providing 18 assists across the last two campaigns.

Solanke’s form represents an improvement in comparison to his goal tally for Cherries in the Premier League.

After joining Cherries in January 2019 for a reported £17.5 million, it took the striker 39 games to find his first league goals for the Dorset club, with a double against Leicester City in July 2020.

But gearing up for another chance at the top flight, the striker believes now he is in a better position to score goals against the elite of English football.

Solanke said: “For sure, I didn’t do what I wanted to do last time I was there in the Premier League.

“But I’m a different player now, mentally and physically. I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Prem next season.”

Away from the microscope of the Premier League, Solanke has blossomed into a leading man for Cherries.

Only Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic scored more goals over the past two seasons in the second tier, and whilst Solanke was pleased to find the back of the net with regularity, he believes that it was the consistent game time that elevated his game.

He added: “The runs of games – I’ve played in pretty much every game I’ve been able to over the past two seasons.

“That definitely helped me. Scoring goals and staying fit – obviously, a run of games, especially when you’re a striker, getting goals really helps.

“My only goal was to get promotion. I built on last season and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my career, playing my best football.”

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