Rhian Brewster has ended speculation over his future by signing a five-year professional contract.
The 18-year-old has rejected interest from a number of clubs, including Bundesliga duo Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig, to commit his long-term future to the Reds. He will be part of Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad this season.
Speaking after putting pen to paper on his first pro deal, Brewster told Liverpool’s official website: “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.
“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.”
Brewster is rated highly by Klopp, who made it clear in discussions with the striker that he sees a pathway to first-team football at Anfield.
“He has been key,” Brewster told the club site of the manager.
“Obviously I’ve had conversations with him and I’m just hoping he puts his faith in me and gives me an opportunity to play. I think he will, that’s why I wanted to stay here. Hopefully we can push on, not just as a team but as a club.”
That first team chance well have come last season, had the teenager not suffered a nasty ankle and knee injury playing for Liverpool’s Under-23 side in January. The Londoner is still recovering from that injury, though he is expected to return to light training next month. He will remain at Melwood when Klopp’s squad flies to the USA for their three-game tour on Saturday morning.
“I’d like to think that would have happened but obviously we’ll never know because of what happened,” he said. “But hopefully this year I will get my professional debut and push on from there.”
Speaking to Goal exclusively last month, Brewster said he was desperate to play senior football this season, whether at Liverpool at elsewhere. He and his representatives considered the idea of leaving Merseyside, with offers from both Gladbach and Leipzig taken seriously. After lengthy discussions with Klopp, director of football Michael Edwards and Academy chief Alex Inglethorpe, however, it was decided that staying at Liverpool was best for the England youth international’s development.
Brewster enjoyed a rapid rise to fame in 2017, appearing on the bench for Liverpool’s first team in a game against Crystal Palace and then making national headlines for his exploits with the England U17 team.
First, he helped Steve Cooper’s team to the final of the European Championships where they lost on penalties to Spain, then he went one better by firing them to World Cup glory in India. His eight goals made him the tournament’s leading goalscorer.
He also received widespread praise after bravely detailing, in an interview with The Guardian, numerous instances where he suffered racial abused playing for club and country. At the Football Writers’ Association’s end of season awards ceremony, he was mentioned by Klopp in a speech given to honour Footballer of the Year Mohamed Salah. Brewster, speaking to Goal, said Liverpool’s support during that period was something he would not forget.
Now, he gets the chance to repay them in goals and performances.
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