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Solanke following in the footsteps of boyhood heroes Ronaldo & Ibrahimovic

10:52 AM EDT 7/26/19
Ronaldo Brazil 2002
The England Under-21 international forward has taken the No.9 shirt at the Vitality Stadium, his personal favourite number

Dominic Solanke has graced the books at Chelsea and Liverpool and is now looking to follow in the footsteps of boyhood heroes Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Bournemouth.

That is because the 21-year-old forward has inherited the No. 9 shirt with the Cherries.

He was acquired to fill that leading striking berth, with £19 million ($24m) worth of faith invested in his potential by those at the Vitality Stadium

Solanke is yet to justify it, as he waits on his first goal for Bournemouth, but he retains full faith in his ability.

The England Under-21 international hopes to prove deserving of an iconic squad number, with there a desire on his part to emulate the achievements of legendary figures he looked up to as a child.

Solanke told Bournemouth’s official website: "Having been a striker all my life, my favourite number is the number nine.

"Growing up, watching great players like R9 [Ronaldo], Ibrahimovic and Benzema to name a few, you always saw top players in that number so I’m delighted to get it.

"I’m really looking forward to the start of the season, I arrived midway through last season so it’s a fresh start for myself and everyone else in the squad.

"With the new number, hopefully I can score goals and make an impact, we’re looking forward to that first game."

Bournemouth signed Solanke from Liverpool during the winter transfer window of 2019.

A sizeable fee was required to secure his services, with a man who helped England’s U20 side to World Cup glory in 2017 expected to improve with more minutes under his belt.

The Cherries are still waiting on that fuse to be lit, but will persevere with a big-money buy.

They would happily settle for Solanke following in the footsteps of Ibrahimovic and Co. by proving himself as a prolific presence in the final third.

Eddie Howe’s side, who secured a 14th-place finish last season, are set to open their 2019-20 campaign with a home date against reigning Premier League new boys Sheffield United on August 10.