Written by: James McHale @jamesmchale2607
The last 15 months have been hell for young Rhian Brewster and the kid just hasn’t been able to catch a break… an ankle injury in January 2018 led to complications in his knee and a grand total of 4 operations (plus potentially thousands of hours of gradual rehabilitation). The good news is that he’s finally back training with the first team and whilst we know that he’s a few weeks behind Chamberlain’s recovery schedule, we could well see him eased back into action with the youth sides before the end of the season.
The highflying youngster has been turning heads ever since he was poached from Chelsea’s academy aged just 14 but it was his exploits for the England under-17 side that thrust his name into the media headlines – Brewster has scored an imperious 20 goals in 22 outings for that particular side. Successive hat-tricks in the quarter-final and semi-final of the 2017 under-17 World Cup, as well as a goal in the final against Spain, reinforced the belief that this kid would be destined for the very top and Liverpool soon found themselves scrambling to convince the young striker that his future career needed to be in Merseyside.
It could have been very different for Brewster had he not made the huge gamble to move up to Liverpool and he himself stated that he was reluctant to when he told JOE’s Melissa Reddy about his decision to move: “I knew that it wasn’t about what was comfortable and the easy option though, but what was best for me.”
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Brewster shows a level of maturity beyond his years and it’s clear that this approach will ensure that he has the perfect platform to show the World what he is capable of when his time comes. Brewster continued: “I looked at a lot of clubs and their plans, but Liverpool stood out to me. I liked their approach to development and things just felt right. They were the best choice for me…” This pragmatic way of assessing his options has made sure that he won’t suffer the same fate of his fellow Chelsea academy alumni; spending one’s developmental years on various loans before slowly fading into lower league obscurity.
Brewster’s close friendship with the now Borussia Dortmund superstar Jadon Sancho has given the youngster a taste of what he can expect if he is trusted to do his thing and the general feeling around the club is that he would have been near that level had he not have suffered such horrific injuries. Though only 17 when he burst onto the scene with the Liverpool under-23 side, Brewster has made sure that his inclusion was no fluke with his 8 goals and 8 assists in 19 appearances in the development league showing just that. The brilliant news for both the man himself and Liverpool fans is that Brewster is now back training with the first team and soon enough we will be seeing him getting match fitness playing with the under-23 side, just as his new best friend and mentor Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been recently.
Seeing his friend Sancho succeed at such a young age is what helped maintain Brewster’s belief in himself during his long time out and this was reaffirmed when he told the Daily Mail’s Dominic King the following: “It gives me more motivation, really. It shows that it can be done. To be honest, I just want to be out there, showing people what I can do and what I have been missing since I have been out.” It’s clear to see that Brewster is just a lad who wants to show the World what he can do, he’s living the dream again and he fully deserves to show us what we’ve been missing out on this last year. There is a pathway now in the English set-up for young players, as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s recent inclusion shows, and if Brewster can regain fitness and make a real impression on Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, his hard work will surely be noticed by the international staff too.
Article by James McHale @jamesmchale2607