A former midfielder for the Reds, Jason McAteer has lavished praise on promising young striker Rhian Brewster by comparing him to Kop icons Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler in comments to Sky Sports.
“You can see bits of Rushy [Ian Rush] in him, the way he runs, the way he closes people down. Also, bits of Robbie Fowler in his finishing,” McAteer claimed.
“If he turns out half as good as those two, I’m sure we’ve got a real player on our hands!”
Now that’s high-praise indeed! Comparing the 19-year-old to Rushy and God is certainly a huge claim. The benchmark they have set as Liverpool legends is astronomically high, scoring 346 and 183 goals respectively.
But McAteer feels that this could be a catalytic campaign for Brewster, admitting that “his progression is coming along nicely, it’s a great learning curve for him. He’s had that injury but he now looks like he’s fully fit and come back from it.
Awarded the golden boot in England’s victorious FIFA Under-17 World Cup back in 2017, he played with peers such as Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Arsenal’s Emile Smith-Rowe, and Wolves’ Morgan Gibbs-White.
Unlike Sancho, Brewster decided against a move to the Bundesliga and penned fresh terms with the Reds when his reputation was sky-high as a youth World Cup winner.
Long-term injury has precluded Brewster from making his senior bow proper, but making the bench for the Reds’ Champions League final plus a serious, three-goal inclusion in Jürgen Klopp’s pre-season plans proves that he will be a fixture for the upcoming season.
“Mixing with the first-team lads will do him no harm and the experience he’ll gain from being here on tour will be great for him,” McAteer said.
“You don’t quite know how they’re going to settle when they’re in and amongst that big crowd, but at the minute he looks the part.
“He’s moving in the right direction – he’s athletic, he’s quick, he likes to hang on the shoulder.”
“I watched him against Tranmere really closely, and when the ball comes into him he makes the ball stick; his decision-making his really, really good,” McAteer declared.
“He’s not frightened to have a pop when it opens up for him. He looks very, very good, but he’s still got a long way to go.”
Now out in the United States as part of the Reds pre-season ties against Borussia Dortmund (where he could face former England teammate Sancho), plus meetings with Sevilla and Sporting, the hope is that Brewster will continue his development under Klopp.
Tempering his red-hot potential in the fires of first-team football, the sky’s the ceiling for Brewster; that said, there’s no rush for him to be compared to God just yet.