Rhian Brewster: Pre-Season The Opportunity to Make a Statement

How many times has a youngster broke through the ranks; Then failed to live up to the hype that surrounds them?

The worst thing about it is the player can’t control what expectations are put on them. All they can do is learn their trade alongside developing physically until that first professional contract comes around.

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This comes across as a career-defining period for an academy product. You wouldn’t think it looking at Rhian Brewster cheeky grin every time he is doing media duties. Considering his 440 days on the treatment table, you would forgive him to be precautious of his Liverpool future.

Though the confidence he portrays reflects the confidence in the academy. Management and more importantly Brewster has in himself to write his name all over this pre-season.

Against Tranmere, Brewster easily was the standout with two goals and an assist. Young, predatory movement and ruthless finishing, there is a remanence of a raw Michael Owen within Brewster’s game. Hopefully, this lad has a bit more intelligence about him. To not eventually end up at a direct rival.

Watching Rhian Brewster as a centre-forward does prompt the idea of him being Liverpool’s back up striker this season. Roberto Firmino as a false nine is world-class. There is no doubt about that. Unfortunately what the Brazilian doesn’t possess is blistering pace.

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Brewster would offer this in abundances. In fact, the common consensus for opposition sides is to drop deep to deny any space for Liverpool’s attacking threat. Therefore, the way you beat this is with runners who are willing to make selfless runs to open gaps in defences.

Whether this would be from Firmino’s disguised bursts or Brewster’s late arrivals into the penalty area, Brewster can be considered an heir to the prince with white pearls for teeth.

Contract worries… no more!

Considering Rhian Brewster’s contract situation, a year ago it’s a massive coup that Liverpool has the 19-year tied down till 2023. On the back of a very successful Under-17’s world cup which included the golden boot, Brewster was gathering suitors. There was a lot of interest from the Bundesliga who are well known for luring young English talent overseas to the German league.

The examples of Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson would have been enough to put doubt in Brewster’s mind whether the Primer League was the right place for his development. Luckily his commitment reinforces his desire to succeed at Liverpool and be a big part of their future success.

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But what about the present, in terms of this season. There is the sense this is going to be Brewster’s breakthrough season.

What makes it more likely Brewster will be relied on is the short options in attack heading into the first game of the new season. Daniel Sturridge leaving. Xherdan Shaqiri missing due to a torn calf. Alongside the front three’s national commitments presents a shortage of attacking players. Even when the front three come back from their breaks after being involved in national tournaments fatigue is going to be a worry.  

Breaking into the squad

All these factors lead to curiosity of what attack Klopp lines up against Norwich City on August 9. Though there is a growing belief from Brewster that this preseason tour of the states. The curtain-raising Community Shield will be the chance to prove he should be leading the line in the first game of the 2019/2020 season.

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Considering the opponent being Manchester City, if Brewster can stand out then he has the argument he can produce against Primer League quality. Also, it can be that early season confidence boost that all top players need. That, mixed with his ability creates a very interesting alternative in Firmino’s absence.

Preseason is that time of the season most players do dread. The running, sprints and the long wait for the action to get underway in August are never in the highlight reel at the end of the season. Brewster’s wide smile will be compounded with a determination to be part of Klopp’s thinking.

Rhian Brewster may have been facing the Kop at Prenton Park. An eye-catching preseason may hand him the dream of kicking towards a more historical Kop stand on August 9.

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