by Joe Sargent (@JoeSarg123)
Brewster’s upward trajectory
“He needs to get used to the intensity.” Those were the words uttered by Jurgen Klopp as Rhian Brewster departed the Reds to join Steve Cooper’s Swans on loan in January.
Since then, the 20-year-old forward has done exactly that and much more in the Championship.
Injury heartache in 2018 saw Brewster endure a tough twelve months out of action, but the youngster appears back to his best, netting eight goals so far in a Swansea shirt. His performances since Project Restart have earned him a nomination for the division’s Player of the Month Award for June.
Hit and miss Origi
Contrast that to Divock Origi who, despite his legendary status, has flattered to deceive in 19/20. Occasionally, we are reminded of the Belgian’s capabilities; take his Derby display, and two goals, against Everton in December for example.
But too often are we underwhelmed. Too often are we left wondering what his best position is. Too often are we reminded that the gulf in class between the first-choice front three, and Origi could hardly be more marked.
So is he doing enough? The patently simple answer is no. Far from it. The Belgian is an immensely capable footballer, but is far too inconsistent.
At 25, to still be asking if he’s good enough is concerning. Granted, opportunities are few and far between. And the task of replicating the skill, consistency and flair of the ‘front three’ is a nigh-on-impossible task. But the brutal reality is this: Liverpool can do better.
The drop off when Origi’s used instead of Mane, Salah or Firmino is sizeable; Klopp knows it too. It was made clear with his desire to bring German International Timo Werner to Anfield before the financial uncertainty of COVID-19 saw Chelsea steal a march and then secure his signature.
Origi told Het Laatste Nieuws in May ‘I feel like I am making progress,’ but Brewster’s surely knocking on the door. The fact Liverpool will be looking for solutions from within – as a result of their reluctance to splurge capital in the market – is an illustration.
Brewster’s eye for goal and potential surely means he will be given his chance next season, perhaps meaning Origi will slip further down the pecking order.
For some, a Premier League loan may be seen as the most logical next step for Brewster. But with a lack of incomings, the Reds could look to the precocious Englishman. So can he flourish in first-team red.
It should be remembered that not so long ago Brewster was rated as highly as Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden. In 2017, Liverpool’s young forward claimed the Golden Boot in the U-17 World Cup.
Klopp has put his faith in youth in recent weeks. Two long-term contracts have been awarded to Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliot, whilst Neco Williams earned his first Premier League start away at Brighton. So no one should be surprised if Brewster is more involved next season, perhaps to the detriment of Origi’s Liverpool career.