Rhian Brewster is one of the most highly rated academy products to emerge for Liverpool over the last few years. And with the young striker being fully recovered after a long-term injury, there was some hope, albeit a bit of a long shot, that with Klopp and the club seemingly valuing his potential, we might see a bit of him involved especially with the fixture schedule being heavy.
Unfortunately, the minutes never materialized and the combination of Brewster getting himself back to full fitness as well as some bad luck - the young lad was kept out of a fixture due to illness in December - lead to making the decision to loan him out for the rest of the year to continue his development. The young striker officially made that move to Swansea in the Championship, with the hopes of getting the minutes he needs to get some sharpness.
It may all feel a bit of a disappointment all things considered - and as a fan of youth matriculating up from the academy broadly and Brewster specifically, I am a bit disappointed - but Jurgen Klopp believes it was in the best interest of Rhian to move elsewhere. Speaking to the official site, the gaffer spoke openly about the thinking behind the loan move.
“For Rhian, it was the right thing to do in this moment. We all agreed it was the right thing to do. Swansea and Steve Cooper (Rhian’s former coach at the England U-17 level) asked already in the summer if he can go and it was not the right moment. He came out of a long-term injury, so I thought he needed to just get a rhythm, get used to his body again, but he needed to get used to the intensity. Now he’s already training for a long, long period, so it was a good moment to give him on loan and to help Swansea hopefully, and Swansea can help Rhian and then us. That was good. But for the others, I don’t see anybody in this moment who would benefit more from a loan spell than from staying with us.”
That last sentence is sticking with me considering the other promising youth in the side: Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, and even Ben Woodburn. We all know that youth development is rarely meteoric and linear - which is what makes the story of people like Trent Alexander-Arnold the exception and not the rule. And given Woodburn’s particularly stalled out development, it feels apt.
Here’s hoping that Rhian can continue to develop and that we might see a few of these young, bright players eventually don the Red shirt as regular first teamers in the near future.