After crashing the top half of the table last season and even flirting with a finish in the European places for a time, it’s been a crushing fall back to earth for Sheffield United this season as the Blades slump towards certain relegation.
After being seen as arguably Liverpool’s best youth prospect who wasn’t already in the first team picture last season, it’s been a similarly disappointing 2020-21 for Rhian Brewster following a big money move to join Sheffield last summer.
When he joined Chris Wilder’s Blades for £23.5M—making him their record signing—there were big expectations. Now, over half way through the season, they’re the league’s lowest scoring side and Brewster mostly sits on the bench.
“I still think that he’ll come good,” Wilder said following a 2-0 shutout at the hands of Liverpool over the weekend when asked about Brewster’s failure to make an impact. “It was always going to be an introductory season for him.
“If people think why did you spend that money, I’ll possibly say well, maybe availability and maybe wages might come into play. But Rhian’s going to be a player, maybe he just has to find his form and his feet now in another division.”
He’ll get the chance to do that next season with the Blades heading back down to the Championship barring a historic survival push, and based on his undeniable talent it would be wildly foolish to write off the 20-year-old striker.
Still, in a season of disappointment for Sheffield, perhaps no individual player is more representative of that disappointment than the club’s record signing—a striker who can’t get on the pitch even with the team unable to score.