What Rhian Brewster’s new contract means for Liverpool's summer window

What Rhian Brewster’s new contract means for Liverpool's summer window

The England under-17 international has signed a five-year deal amid interest from abroad and will be part of Liverpool's first team next season.

matt-addison
Matt Addison

Liverpool's 18-year-old prodigy Rhian Brewster has signed his first professional contract with the club, putting pen to paper on a five-year deal.

The former Chelsea youth player had been linked with a move to the Bundesliga earlier in the summer, reportedly keen to boost his first-team chances by moving to Germany, where the likes of Jadon Sancho have seen more minutes than in the Premier League.

Both RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach were very interested in signing him, but Liverpool never wanted to lose Brewster.

Speaking to Liverpool's television channel, he said: “It feels great. I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time now and I think it’s the right moment for me and my family. I’m looking forward to getting back fit and making some appearances."

He was also effusive in his praise of how Liverpool have treated him in the relatively short time he has been at the club.

Brewster added: “Since I got here the club has been amazing to me and treated me like family. It seems like I’ve been here my whole life, to be honest. It’s coming up to my fifth season now.

"I [still] remember my first training session. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to get started.”

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First team chance?

Brewster, who was top scorer at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in October with eight goals for England, has not yet made a first-team start for Liverpool, but he has been assured that Anfield is the best place for his development.

Roberto Firmino is Liverpool's clear number one central player in the front three, with Danny Ings, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge also in reserve, but all three of the latter have been linked with moves away from Merseyside.

Ings is reportedly wanted by a number of Premier League sides including Southampton, and is understood to be keen to go somewhere else in a bid for more game time having endured an injury nightmare since signing from Burnley.

Origi has been linked with Newcastle United amongst others, and has not impressed in pre-season since having a disappointing loan spell in Germany with Wolfsburg.

Sturridge, meanwhile, remains unreliable through injuries and Liverpool would not stand in his way should an offer come in, with his reported wages of around £150,000 per week taking up a significant part of their wage budget.

Brewster has been out injured with an ankle injury since around the turn of the year, with some reports suggesting that he might not be back until November or December.

When he does return, though, Brewster has been promised game time, with Klopp and his staff rating the youngster highly.

That means that Liverpool are unlikely to sign a central striker from now until the transfer deadline just before they kick off their new Premier League campaign on August 12 against West Ham United.

It is likely that at least one, possibly two of Ings, Origi or Sturridge will move on, but that will depend on the offers that arrive.

At least one of them will remain given that Brewster is inexperienced and will certainly not be back in time to participate in pre-season, so will be unavailable for a number of months.

The signing of the contract is excellent news for Liverpool in that they have the backup player they want once his injuries are over, but they will need to retain at least one other backup option in the meantime.

Signing a new forward and selling all of Ings, Origi and Sturridge would mean either bringing in someone who would jump ahead of Brewster in the pecking order, or someone who would be a short-term solution until Brewster is back fit, neither of which Klopp would sanction.

Liverpool have the trust in Brewster that he can come back fit and firing, and once he does so, he might be a permanent fixture on the bench and sometimes from the start.

Of course, Mo Salah can also play down the middle, as can Sadio Mané, with Xherdan Shaqiri able to slot into their wide roles, but Brewster has been promised time on the pitch.

His contract means Liverpool will not sign a striker now, with talks over AS Roma’s Alisson underway and a deal for Nabil Fekir still a possibility.

If the Reds do not sign Fekir, they will target another player of that ilk capable of playing as a number 10 and across the front three as Philippe Coutinho could before his switch to Barcelona.

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