In a Q&A for The Athletic, James Pearce believes that young Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster will be given a chance to prove his worth to Jurgen Klopp in pre-season later this year but is likely to be loaned out again by the Anfield club.
The teenage attacker, who turns 20 next week, is currently on loan at Swansea, whom he joined in early January in an attempt to obtain more regular first team experience. He has been successful in that mission so far, starting 10 of the Swans’ 11 Championship games prior to the coronavirus-enforced cessation of English professional football, with four goals for Steve Cooper’s side in their Championship play-off push.
As per The Athletic [via @LFCTransferRoom on Twitter], Pearce said that the youngster has plenty of time on his side to make it as a Liverpool player but warned that he faces a very stiff challenge to earn regular game-time at Anfield under Klopp.
??James Pearce: Brewster will be 20 next week so he's still got time on his side but making it at LFC is tough. You need to be world class to get into that attack. I think he will get his chance during pre-season to impress Klopp. It wouldn't surprise me if he went on loan again
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) March 24, 2020
Rhian Brewster’s story so far for Liverpool and Swansea
Brewster boasts an impressive scoring return at underage level for Liverpool, with 13 in 28 appearances for the under-23s, and he was the Reds’ top scorer in pre-season last summer, netting four times in friendly action for the senior side. He was given a competitive senior debut by Klopp in the Carabao Cup win over MK Dons six months ago and followed that up with cup outings against Arsenal and Everton.
However, the 19-year-old has yet to feature in the Premier League, with two unused substitute appearances the closest he has come to a top-flight debut. He missed out on the senior squad for the Club World Cup in December due to an ankle injury, which also prevented him from partaking in a youthful Reds team which lost to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup in the same week.
The youngster has been on loan at Swansea since January and, as mentioned above, he has been playing regularly for the south Wales outfit and chipping in with a few goals. He has averaged 2.4 shots per game for Cooper’s team and his dribbling ability has helped him to draw 2.2 fouls per game, although discipline and ball retention are potential worries – he has been booked five times already for Swansea and he has a poor passing success rate of just 61.8%.
Brewster beware – Harry Wilson’s Liverpool career should be a cautionary tale
Alongside Brewster, another forward to catch the eye in Liverpool’s 2019 pre-season was Harry Wilson, who scored a stunning long-range goal in a 3-1 win over Lyon. However, that wasn’t enough to persuade Klopp to keep him at Anfield once the competitive action started, instead loaning him out to Bournemouth for the season. The Welsh winger, who turned 23 on Sunday, has scored six goals in 23 games in his first campaign at Premier League level, following on from the 18 he managed in 49 appearances on loan at second-tier Derby last term.
While the goals have flowed for Wilson over the last couple of years, he has still played only one competitive first team game for Liverpool, an FA Cup replay win over Plymouth in January 2017. He has been loaned out four times by the Reds and, following the Merseysiders’ recent win over loan club Bournemouth, he told BT Sport [via This Is Anfield] that he would have a “decision to make” on his future in the summer. Also, Pearce hinted in his Q&A for The Athletic that he couldn’t see the winger forcing his way into Liverpool’s line-up and could be sold in the near future along with Marko Grujic if a satisfactory offer is made.
That Wilson has shown he can score goals in the Premier League but still face a doubtful Liverpool future indicates the steepness of the challenge that awaits Brewster. The on-loan Swansea striker may be three years younger than the Welshman but, as Pearce has suggested, he may need another loan spell, ideally at a top-flight club, to further prove himself before realistically challenging for a first team berth at Anfield.
Can you see Brewster making the grade at Liverpool in the long-term? Do you think he needs another loan move next season? Have your say by commenting below!