9 things we know about Solanke, Chelsea’s 17-year-old striker eligible to play for Nigeria

dominic solankeDominic Ayodele Solanke came in as a second-half substitute for Chelsea in the Blues’ 6-0 victory over NK Maribor on Tuesday. His performance impressed his hard-to-please manager, Jose Mourinho, who later gushed: “For sure, he’s going to play many Champions League matches because he will be a good player.”

Here are nine things we know about the promising footballer.

  • He is a pacy striker, whose goals helped the Blues win the FA Youth Cup last season, with consecutive hat-tricks in the competition.
  • He scored a brace on May 5, 2014 to give Chelsea victory against Fulham in the FA Youth Cup final.
  • He turned 17 a month ago but has already played for the club’s Under 21s and in the UEFA Youth League.
  • He was 14 when Didier Drogba scored the penalty that gave Chelsea the Champions League final victory against Bayern Munich on May 19, 2012.
  • He has been at the club since 2004. He scored 20 goals in 25 matches leading the line for the academy side last year.
  • He scored the winner for England’s Under 18s against Holland last month and is on his way to Gareth Southgate’s Under 21s.
  • He was on the bench against Crystal Palace on Saturday but made his first team chance in front of a sell-out Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
  • At 17 years and 38 days old, Solanke is Chelsea’s youngest ever debutant in the Champions League.
  • And this is the best part: He is eligible to play for Nigeria – his father’s country of birth.