At the start of the summer, when Rhian Brewster was scoring goals in friendlies and forming a regular part of the starting XI, we believed the youngster would be our first-choice backup behind Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Divock Origi had extended his terms and vowed to play a big part for Liverpool going forward, but the prodigal teenager looked sharper in the friendlies and has, as considered by most, a much higher ceiling of improvement.
But as we approach October, Brewster has still not made his Liverpool debut.
With Origi injuring himself against Newcastle on Saturday, the assumption was that Brewster would get himself on the bench against Napoli, but Jurgen Klopp chose to not field a recognised forward as a substitute – with four midfielders instead.
The Echo’s Liverpool correspondent Paul Gorst has told fans not to worry, however, explaining that the plan for Brewster is a debut v MK Dons and a big long-term future.
“Liverpool are in no rush with Rhian Brewster. That long-term injury to his ankle and leg kept him sidelined for over a year and Jurgen Klopp won’t throw in the deep end for the sake of it. The club have lofty plans for the talented young striker, but there is no desperate need to involve him just now,” he said.
“The upcoming game against MK Dons is viewed, from the Academy’s perspective at least, as the ideal match for Brewster’s senior debut. Roberto Firmino’s excellent early season form has made Brewster’s wait extend ever so slightly, but there is no concerns that he will become agitated in the same way Bobby Duncan did. Brewster has been assured that he has a real future at first-team level. We will see him soon, no question.”
If Brewster doesn’t start v MK Dons, we can see the youngster becoming agitated – and perhaps rightly so.
Not because he’s better than our front-three – he isn’t – but he’s at the age where he needs regular minutes to start developing and fulfilling his potential.
When England won the U17 World Cup, he was rated as highly as Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden. One is an England regular and a £100m+ player and the other plays plenty of games for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.
After MK Dons, it’s time for Brewster to appear on our bench on a weekly basis.