Liverpool’s depth chart at striker remains something of a question mark for the fans, with many fully expecting the club to bring in a player who can at least share time at the position over the summer. If you ask Jürgen Klopp, though, you might get a different answer.
If you ask Klopp, the name you might get back instead is Rhian Brewster, an 18-year-old prospect who is seen by many at the club as their brightest prospect and a player already considered good enough to make an impact. There’s only been one problem: injuries.
“I’m finally back fit and doing what I love and pushing to get back in the team,” Brewster told the Press Association this week about his year-long layoff following ankle and knee damage suffered against Manchester City’s U23 side and the manager’s belief in him.
“To know that the boss really wants me to be in his plans for the future is amazing, especially a boss like him. They could easily have left me at the Academy to do my rehab but they wanted me to do my rehab with them, so I can’t thank them enough.
“He has been there from beginning to the end, and to know he still wants me—even though it’s been so long—gives me a great boost. Every time I see him he gives me a big hug. Not only him, every time I see the players they are asking about how I am.”
For a time, there was some doubt that Brewster would still be at Liverpool today, not because of the injury but because Borussia Monchengladbach were looking to follow in Dortmund’s footsteps and poach him like they had Jadon Sancho from City.
Klopp, though, convinced the player that when he was fit he would be given chances with the first team—that there would be a path to real, significant playing time as early as this season if he stuck around at Anfield. And so Brewster stuck around.
Now, he’s getting close to being ready to, just maybe, get that chance. If he takes it the way Klopp and many others expect he will, it would solve those question marks at striker and set up Brewster as the first attacking name off the bench heading into next season.
“Trying to get back fit, working hard, is all I’ve been doing,” he added. “I want to prove to everyone that the boss has kept faith in me for a reason and I want to prove to everyone that I’m good enough to be in the first team.”