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Jürgen Klopp Explains Rhian Brewster’s Limited Pre-Season Role

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The Liverpool manager says Brewster has been “knocked down” by the intensity of pre-season.

Liverpool v SSC Napoli - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rhian Brewster was Liverpool’s standout attacker in the club’s first two pre-season games, leaving fans excited to see what he might be able to do with some of the club’s more senior players as they returned to training.

Instead, recent games have seen Brewster given fewer chances, his minutes curtailed. According to Jürgen Klopp, it’s not a sign Brewster might not have a role to play this season—it’s simply been a matter of fitness.

“For him this was his first first-team pre-season after a long injury,” Klopp said when asked why Brewster had seen fewer minutes in the last few games. “It started really well then pre-season knocked him down.

“You really feel your legs, but we are super positive about him. There is no pressure. With the talent and attitude he has, it will be fine, but when I don’t know. In a lot of pre-season moments he looked really good.”

In retrospect, it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising. Brewster is still just 19 years of age and this is, as Klopp notes, in his first pre-season as a first team player—and it comes after he missed a year with ankle ligament damage.

In line with Klopp’s expectations that he will have a first team role to play this season, Brewster joined the 29-man squad that headed to Evian for the final stage of Liverpool’s pre-season preparations.

Harvey Elliott, Sepp van den Berg, Yasser Larouci, Ki-Jana Hoever, and Harry Wilson also made the cut, but there was no room for Ben Woodburn, Curtis Jones, or Nat Phillips, while Ryan Kent remained behind due to illness.