Solanke “fine” with talk of new striker

bmth press conf

Dominic Solanke is currently the only senior striker available to Scott Parker but the Cherries boss says the club is “trying” to bring in competition for the number nine.

Since the departure of Sam Surridge to Championship rivals Stoke City the Dorset club has found themselves short in the central striker role with Solanke the only experienced player at Parker’s disposal.

Pre-season has seen the emergence of young Christian Saydee – who scored his first goal for the club in the 5-0 victory over MK Dons in July but the academy graduate has been used sparingly throughout the league campaign, and Emi Marcondes was preferred as a false nine against Norwich in midweek..

Speaking to journalists on the club’s progress in acquiring a new centre-forward, Parker said:  “Close as what we have been really there is nothing else in the pipeline I can tell you. 

“We are trying and there are a couple of things we are into at the moment – how that transpires over the coming days is obviously going to be key in a competitive market. 

“Hopefully we can do some business before the deadline.”

Parker has made it quite clear in recent weeks he would like to add a new striker to his squad and provide Solanke with the competition the forward “needs”.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea man scored 15 times in 40 league appearances last season which was a career best for the 23-year-old and has already got three goals so far this campaign – grabbing a brace against Blackpool last weekend.

With Saydee still not deemed ready to lead the line at Vitality Stadium just yet, the task of scoring goals and leading from the front falls to Solanke and Nerve Sport asked Parker if he has set the striker a target of goals for the season.

“I hate setting targets. I don’t set anyone targets as a team or individually I don’t really set targets,” revealed the head coach.

“What I do set is standards and improving and wanting to get better and how professional you are on a daily basis.

“How hard you work on your game, on your finishing if you are Dom for instance, on your finer techniques, how many hours are you putting in because I do know that if he does that he will score plenty of goals,” he explained.

With regards to the talk of a new striker coming through the doors on the south coast, Parker is confident it will not bother his current number nine and in fact, Solanke will be relishing the competition.

“I wouldnt of thought it was bothering him at all really, If anything he would want that,” added Parker

“I know when I was playing the best bit with me was when a midfielder stepped into the building for the first time it was exactly what I wanted it was exactly what I needed.

“Dom needs competition, we need competition, that’s what Dom needs – that’s best for him – and as a team we need that as well really so Dom’s fine with that.”

It remains to be seen if the Dorset club can recruit a new striker before next Tuesday’s transfer deadline but the departure of Surridge and last season’s top scorer Arnaut Danjuma it is clear that Parker does not want to just rely on Solanke and a crop of young – albeit talented – academy graduates.