Who is Manor Solomon? Things to know about the coveted Israeli star

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Jan 17, 2021, 4:15 PM GMT
Solomon has been linked with a host of top clubs during his career
Solomon has been linked with a host of top clubs during his career | Soccrates Images/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Israel is not known for producing many international footballing icons, Yossi Benayoun aside of course.

However, one player who may buck that trend in the coming years is Shakhtar Donetsk winger Manor Solomon.

Starting his playing career at Maccabi Petah Tikva, the 21-year-old has impressed since moving to Ukraine in 2019. Now, he is attracting attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Arsenal.

What's all the fuss about we hear you ask? Well, here is everything you need to know about Solomon.

1. Former soldier

Solomon has already racked up 12 Israel caps before his 22nd birthday
Solomon has already racked up 12 Israel caps before his 22nd birthday | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

As is compulsory for all Israeli citizens — regardless of whether they are footballers or not — Solomon completed a period in the military when he was 18.

During this time, he balanced his uniformed service with catching the eye for MPT.

It is not just his time spent in the military which has developed a strong sense of discipline in the youngster. His father is also a fitness trainer and pushed him at a young age to keep himself in tip top condition.

2. A versatile, modern forward

Solomon is very comfortable with the ball at his feet
Solomon is very comfortable with the ball at his feet | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Solomon's has spent the majority of his career operating as a right forward.

More recently, he has switched sides. Playing on the left suits him well, as he can combine his strong dribbling skills with a lethal right foot to terrorise right-backs.

Standing at just 170cm tall, the tricky wideman uses his low centre of gravity to evade the opposition both with and without the ball.

Solomon also has some experience operating as a number ten. His versatility will be a big asset for whatever side ends up signing him.

3. Plenty of clubs interested in the past

Solomon is no stranger to the Etihad Stadium
Solomon is no stranger to the Etihad Stadium | Michael Steele/Getty Images

Solomon has been hot property for the majority of his career.

When he was undertaking his military service in 2017, Manchester City came very close to signing him, as he explained to the Guardian last year.

"They really wanted me and I had a meeting with them but unfortunately it did not work out. I played against them with Shakhtar and it was a really good point for us but in the end it didn’t help us to qualify. It was also very special to play against Manchester City and Pep Guardiola and to score," he said.

The Citizens are not the only Premier League side who have courted him in the past. Arsenal, Liverpool as well as Juventus, have also been linked with Solomon in recent years.

4. International heartbreak

Solomon scored his first international goal against Scotland
Solomon scored his first international goal against Scotland | JACK GUEZ/Getty Images

Despite his young age, Solomon has already carved out a place for himself at international level.

The biggest game of his Israel career so far came in October, when his side took on Scotland in the semi finals of the Euro 2020 qualification playoffs. Solomon played the full 120 minutes and with the scores level after extra time, the match went to penalties, with Scotland winning the shootout 5-3.

He did manage to get revenge a few weeks later when he scored the only goal in Israel's 1-0 win over the Scots in the Nations League.

5. Champions League heroics

Solomon loves playing in the Champions League.

His love affair with the competition began in October 2019 when he bagged a dramatic 95th winner to help Shakhtar see off Atalanta. The following month he salvaged his side a 1-1 draw against Manchester City with a fine equaliser.

His European heroics have continued this season as well. Solomon's netted in both of Shakhtar's wins over Real Madrid, showing his appetite for the big occasion remains insatiable.

6. He needs to work on his final product

Solomon has been guilty of poor decision making in the past
Solomon has been guilty of poor decision making in the past | Lars Baron/Getty Images

Solomon's ability to carry the ball is strong, but there have been some doubts casts over his final product.

By his own admission, this is an area that he needs to improve to make it at the top level.

When asked about the progress he has made at Shakhtar so far, he told the Podium podcast (via Tekdeeps): "I think I improved a lot. In all aspects. I think I improved in everything and I still want to improve and I still improve.

"I’m only 21 and I want to be better than I am today. I think I improved the most in understanding the game – when to release the ball, when not Release the ball, when to do a dribble, when not to do a dribble."

facebooktwitterreddit