Don’t write off Rhian Brewster – Liverpool could actually do with him now – Guest Opinion Post

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Rhian Brewster was trending again on Saturday on Twitter after failing to score in his 15th game since joining Sheffield United in the summer.

The 20-year-old striker’s fortunes were a hot topic on the social media platform as his barren spell continued.

Fans delivered a harsh verdict on Brewster, claiming that Liverpool were ‘laughing all the way to the bank’.

Liverpool had committed ‘daylight robbery’ in securing a £23.5 million fee for his signature, said another Twitter user.

Many compared him to Dominic Solanke and Jorban Ibe, two once promising youngsters who Liverpool sold for sizeable sums.

And it’s hard to disagree at this moment that selling Brewster looks an astute piece of business.

The club generated more than £20 million pounds for a largely unproven young player with no Premiership experience amid possibly the most difficult financial climate football has ever faced.

They also brought in Diego Jota for £40 million from Wolves and he has been a revelation with nine goals in 17 appearances up until his injury.

With the fee, Jota’s performances and Brewster’s struggles, selling the young striker appeared nothing less than a masterstroke.

Well it did until last Thursday…

That was when Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home run ended at the hands of Burnley.

Liverpool had up until the Manchester United FA Cup game gone 348 minutes without a goal and failed to win in their last five games.

It’s perhaps ironic that some are lauding the sale of Brewster and his goal drought, while his old teammates have been having such a battle finding the net.

There was a point during the game against Burnley when Divock Origi was clean through on goal but the Belgian blasted his shot against the crossbar with only the keeper to beat.

LFC fans must have let out a collective sigh.

Origi has failed to find the net in any Premier League game so far this season on the rare occasions he is brought on.

He only managed four league goals in the 2019/20 season.

Club legend Graeme Souness spoke volumes when he said he wished the chance against Burnley had fallen to any other player.

But with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also struggling, who else could have stepped up?

Mane, Salah and Jota have delivered 35 goals in all competitions so far compared to 21 from the rest of the team.

Roberto Firmino has also been facing a crisis of confidence to rival the one Brewster is facing.

At times this season, Firmino has looked a shadow of the player who has been so instrumental in the club’s success in recent years.

Liverpool’s other back up striker Takumi Minamino has also had little impact since joining from Salzburg in January last year in a deal which appeared another masterstroke after a £7.25 million release clause was activated.

Taki has scored once all season and has been mysteriously unused from the bench even as the goals have dried up. 

Much of the talk during Liverpool’s poor run of form has been the need for a new centre back to bring back balance to the team and how badly Liverpool have missed Jota.

Both of these points are arguably true.

But the question of whether the club were right to allow the sale of Rhian Brewster has hardly surfaced.

It is perhaps unsurprising given Brewster’s failure to score for the Blades, but is it a fair assessment?

After all Sheffield United are rock bottom of the league with just one win and only ten league goals.

In comparison, Liverpool remain the league’s top scorers with 37.

They have also completed 461 crosses compared to 367 by the Blades.

You have to wonder whether Brewster would still be firing blanks with the opportunities to score at Liverpool. 

Surely he could got on the end of one of the nearly 100 extra crosses?

His record before the Blades suggested he might have.

There seemed to be uncertainty as to whether Brewster would recover fully from a horrific injury in a youth match three years ago, but he dispelled those doubts at Swansea last year.

In a promotion chasing League One side, Brewster netted 10 goals in 20 games.

In the England Under 17 World Cup winning team, Brewster was the top scorer with eight goals.

How the fortunes of Brewster and his teammates Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho have differed since the young Three Lions triumphed.

Of course Liverpool are very much aware of Brewster’s potential which is why they inserted a buyback clause in his sale as they did with Ibe and Solanke.

The well-respected former Liverpool Echo and now Athletic correspondent James Pearce reported that Brewster had been pushing for a move because he wanted more first-team opportunities.

Clearly with Salah, Mane, Firmino and Jota in front of him those chances would be few and far between and the risk of his career stalling again was too high.

For both Brewster and Liverpool the transfer appeared to be a win-win. 

But is that still the case as Liverpool and Brewster have faced such a struggle to find the net?

Fans may be quick to write off Brewster career but it seems premature at such a young age.

Particularly for a player who at one stage seemed destined to become a world class talent.

Perhaps they should look at the case of Harry Kane, who was loaned out to Leyton Orient, Millwall, Norwich and Leicester before becoming the world class finisher he is today and invaluable member of the Spurs and England team.

And other top strikers such as Jamie Vardy, Diego Costa and going much further back Ian Wright were very late starters in the world of football.

What looks like ‘daylight robbery’ at present, could appear very different if Brewster finds his form and becomes the player many him expect to be as Liverpool’s struggles in front of goal continue.

Form after all is temporary, but class is permanent. 


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