Time for Brewster to Oust Ineffective Origi

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On Thursday night, two Liverpool strikers suffered very different fortunes.

It was an evening to forget for the Reds, whose lack of intensity and focus was plain to see in a rather insipid defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates.

As a last throw of the dice in the second half, Jurgen Klopp turned to Divock Origi as one of his substitutes, looking for another moment of inspiration from the Belgian.

What occurred was a cameo that has become far too frequent, with heavy touches and a general lack of threat both on show, as he mimicked a square peg in a round hole.

Every time he got the ball, there was an inevitability about when he would lose possession and it never felt as though he would help turn the game in Liverpool’s favour.

While Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino did their best to make things happen from the bench, Origi blunted any hope the visitors had of avoiding defeat.

It is now over seven months and counting since his last goal, against Everton back in December.

Meanwhile, prior to the Liverpool game kicking off, Rhian Brewster was excelling again for Swansea City, as his loan spell goes from strength to strength.

The 20-year-old smashed home a stunning left-footed strike to give his team the lead away to Middlesbrough, making it nine goals in 18 Championship appearances for the Swans.

While some Reds youngsters can go out on loan and disappear for good, this spell has been a godsend for Brewster, who was struggling for minutes and match fitness at Anfield, having missed a year of action through injury.

He has knuckled down and shone in a famously tough division, holding his own against more experienced, robust professionals and outlining his reputation as a born goalscorer.

A ratio of a goal every other game is a superb return and it looks as though he has finally regained the rhythm that saw him become a young superstar prior to his injury woes, winning the Golden Boot at the Under-17 World Cup in 2017.

Playing time was always vital, in that respect, and there now appears to be confidence running through his veins, as well as a freshness.

As this season approaches its end and the 2020/21 campaign swiftly nears, Klopp has a decision to make in terms of his attacking personnel.

There is still a need to bring in a top class backup to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – whether or not that happens remains to be seen – but equally important is nailing down Roberto Firmino’s deputy.

Minamino is someone who can play in the Brazilian’s role, if needed, but an out-and-out striker who can be relied upon on a consistent basis is also key.

Origi has shown for too long that he isn’t that man, regardless of what he has achieved in terms of huge moments in the last 18 months or so.

He should always go down as one of Liverpool’s great cult heroes because he what he did against the likes of Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham, but he is not at the required standard to be second-choice striker.

Brewster can be that man, even though there are still admittedly some question marks over just how good he can become at the very top level.

As a player, he is far more suited to Klopp’s style of play than Origi, combining clever movement, ruthless finishing, a strong work ethic and an ability to drop deep or out wide. He is fluent, which Origi is not.

There is the argument that Brewster is too special a talent to simply sit on the substitutes’ bench most weeks when he could be a star man elsewhere, but he is a long-term prospect who has it in him to become a leading man at Anfield in the coming years.

At 20, he is a year older than both Neco Williams and Curtis Jones and the time has come for Klopp to trust him as a squad player.

It would be a huge shock if Brewster wasn’t recalled from his loan spell in time for pre-season, and if he can catch the eye during that period, it will leave him primed to oust Origi and cement his place ahead of him.

The ludicrous five substitute rule that the Premier League could implement next season may further benefit Brewster – it could be one of the few positives behind the decision – giving him more chances to impact games and prove his worth.

As for Origi, there is no great issue in keeping hold of him if he doesn’t move on, but it is time for him to drop down the pecking order and make way for a more talented, exciting player.

Brewster’s eye-catching performances at Swansea suggest he is an individual who has found his groove, as he prepares to kick on into the next chapter of his career.

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