Rhian Brewster has agreed his first professional contract with Liverpool according to reports, easing fears over his future.
The 18-year-old has been the source of some speculation in recent weeks, tipped to follow in the footsteps of 20-year-old Leon Bailey and U17 national teammate Jadon Sancho who left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund by moving to the Bundesliga in a bid to gain regular first-team football. However, Jürgen Klopp and Michael Edwards have worked hard to ensure negotiations ended in a successful manner, keeping Brewster at Anfield until 2023.
Key to retaining his services will have been the reassurance that the forward will be in the first-team frame next season – a prominent role in Liverpool’s pre-season schedule is likely. A young striker with a bright future under Klopp, tying him down could prove to be a significant move from the club this summer ahead of another exciting campaign.
Brewster was the name on everyone’s lips at the Under 17 World Cup, winning the Golden Boot with eight goals (two more than Lassana Ndiaye and Abel Ruiz in joint second) as England were crowned Champions. Now, he’s got his chance to show he can make it at club level.
Six goals in 15 appearances for Liverpool in Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League combined, the 18-year-old has an excellent eye for goal, showcasing brilliant movement inside the area to carve out chances for himself.
Thus, it’s no real surprise Klopp has been earmarking him for a future first-team role for some time now, tipping the homegrown talent to make the grade on Merseyside. As such, pre-season can’t come soon enough for Brewster, with a huge chance to compete for a place in Klopp’s squad before the return of Firmino, Salah and Mané from Russia.
Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi represent the other attacking options currently at the club, but with stark question marks surrounding the future of all three players, it’s safe to say the door is wide open for Brewster to continue his meteoric rise to stardom.
Despite earning rave reviews so early in his footballing career, Brewster has remained grounded, firmly focused on doing his talking on the field and improving game by game. Such maturity can been shown on and off the pitch, dealing well with the English media’s increased attention towards his game while ‘positively impacting society’ in his response to alleged racial abuse while on international duty.
As for the club’s transfer plans, a new contract will allow Klopp to focus his funds primarily on securing a world-class goalkeeper, consistent and powerful centre-back partner for Van Dijk and a direct replacement for Coutinho in the shape of Nabil Fekir or Christian Pulisic. The summer wish-list is lengthy, but wrapping up Brewster for the foreseeable future will provide further attacking options ahead of the new campaign.
Klopp has always been a manager with a strong preference for developing homegrown talents before delving into the transfer market and Brewster is the latest example. If he can hit the ground running in pre-season, there’s little reason why the teenage sensation can’t force his way firmly into the first-team picture.
Rest assured, tying him down to a long-term deal was a fruitful decision.