Liverpool starlet Rhian Brewster is poised for a breakout season after signing his first professional contract with the Merseyside club last week.
It’s obvious Jurgen Klopp has big plans for the England U17 international and wants to spend time integrating Brewster into the first team.
The club were forced to act quickly as interest in the 18-year-old striker was heating up with the likes of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig reportedly ready to bring him to Germany.
Klopp has a history of giving youngsters a chance – he helped nurture the talents of Mario Gotze and Nuri Sahin through the Dortmund academy.
At Liverpool, Klopp has even shown confidence in starting Trent Alexander-Arnold as right-back for the majority of the 2017-2018 season.
Moving through the ranks
Brewster joined Liverpool’s Academy three years ago and was impressive from the start. He was part of the U18’s side initially but quickly moved up the U23’s the next season.
He’s an absolute threat in front of goal, capable of creating space for his shot with ease. The London-born forward also has a bit of pace about him and was instrumental in England’s U17 World Cup triumph last year, finishing as top scorer with eight goals in the tournament.
Brewster possesses a high football IQ for his age and it shows. He’s smart with his shot selection, opens the play up for teammates when necessary, and even tracks back on occasion to link up with the midfield.
He’s your stereotypical number nine. The youngster isn’t restricted to poaching for goals and has been known to hit a few from outside the box.
Brewster’s first team opportunity
The fact Klopp obviously pushed to keep Brewster means he plans to push him through to the first team.
Roberto Firmino will undoubtedly be first-choice forward when the new season starts. However, with Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings almost certainly leaving this summer and Divock Origi’s future at the club still in doubt, it leaves Brewster and Solanke fighting for the backup striker position.
This preseason should help thin out the herd and show us just how well the promising youngster would gel with more senior players.
He was off to a fiery start last year but was sidelined halfway through the season after an ankle injury against Manchester City that required surgery. Brewster suffered ligament damage to his right ankle which meant his 2017/18 season came to an end with 6 goals and 7 assists in 15 games.
The injury does leave question marks over his fitness and how he’ll bounce back, but he is very highly regarded at the club with returning coach Pep Lijnders already earmarking him for greatness.
Brewster told Liverpoolfc.com last year, “All I want to do is one day play for Liverpool’s first team. I will do all I can to try and make that happen, so if that means doing extra work in training I will do it.”
With Klopp reportedly not looking to sign a new striker this summer, Brewster should make the most of this chance. Even if he doesn’t score too many goals in preseason, as long as he demonstrates he can fit the system, he will find himself destined for greatness at Anfield.