As £17m Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke toiled for that first Premier League goal in the Cherries’ 5-2 defeat to Man Utd, it’ll have plenty of Rangers fans thinking what might’ve been.
Eighteen months ago, the former Liverpool striker was thee name of the winter transfer window with the Ibrox side heavily linked to the young Englishman [Express].
A move never materialised for Rangers and by the end of the month Solanke moved to Dorset for the mouth-watering fee – but it hasn’t gone exactly to plan for the young striker.
Widely revered as one of the brightest young English talents of his era – even by ex-Gers forward Tore Andre Flo – Solanke’s loan signature at Ibrox would’ve been seen as a bit of a coup.
But since joining Bournemouth in January 2019 Solanke – now 22 – has hit only one goal in 42 appearances with Eddie Howe’s side facing the very real prospect of relegation.
Solanke’s only Bournemouth strike came in a 4-0 FA Cup demolition of Luton town in January, a year after he first joined the club.
He has scored only once in the Premier League; another strike in a 4-0 win, this time for Liverpool against Brighton on the last day of the 17/18 season.
In short, his apparent talent has largely gone unrecognised and his career is on the verge of a considerable nosedive should Bournemouth get lodged in the mire of the Championship.
Looking back, many Gers fans might be breathing a sigh of a relief we didn’t pay a considerable loan fee to bring the player to Ibrox given Bournemouth fans will be frustrated they shelled out so much for a player who is yet to deliver.
But Solanke, his representatives and anyone connected to the player at the time might be thinking, what might have been had he been offered an opportunity to shine at Ibrox?
So often Scotland is looked down upon in the English footballing world but cases like Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo and Ryan Kent show there’s plenty of space to grow here and at Rangers.
If any interest from Rangers was made concrete, much like any of those chances in front of goal for Bournemouth, it’s an opportunity Solanke may look back on as one he failed to take.