‘Just exceptional’ – The best quotes about Liverpool hope Rhian Brewster
Rhian Brewster made two 45-minute appearances during Liverpool’s pre-season and grabbed his opportunity by scoring three goals for the Reds.
Brewster, who helped England win the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, has had to be patient in his recovery from a serious leg injury, which required operations on both his ankle and knee.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Swansea City in 2019-20 and his performances in pre-season has raised hopes he could be a part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans in 2020-21.
We’ve rounded up some of the best quotes about the striker, who is tipped for a bright future at Anfield.
Speaking about Brewster first being invited to train with the first-team squad as a 16-year-old, Klopp praised the striker’s all-round talent.
“Rhian has a lot of respect in the squad, nobody thought ‘who’s this?’” Klopp said.
“Physically stronger, wonderfully skilled boy, real striker, good finisher, fantastic work ethic and all that stuff.”
Ever the one to stress the importance of hard work to match talent, Gerrard had some sound advice for Brewster when praising him in his role as Liverpool Under-19 manager in November 2017.
“Everyone has seen it all over the world that Rhian is capable of scoring goals,” Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.
“You have to enjoy the plaudits but not get too high and not start believing in all the hype. You have to keep showing everyone what you are about.
“In football, people forget pretty quickly, both the good and the bad. You are only as good as your last game.
“We all know he has got the talent and the ability.
“If Rhian wants to go far and stay at the top, if he can put in that work rate and relentless running, that’s how he’s going to get the better of most defenders.”
"I was obsessed to be the best!"
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 15, 2017
Speaking about Brewster’s time out injured, Klopp gave the impression he will give the forward plenty of first-team opportunities in the next few years.
“He grew as a person in that time (out injured) and physically as well,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“He is a different stature when you look at him. Now he is a proper man. When he got injured, he was a boy. All will be good.
“With a little bit of luck – which you always need – we will have a lot of fun with him.”
Brewster became firm friends with fellow long-term injury victim Oxlade-Chamberlain during his rehab, and it has been a relationship of mutual support.
In fact, rather than the younger man relying on the first-teamer for guidance, Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted it has often been the other way around.
“Rhian’s been brilliant, he’s a great lad and I don’t really have to tell him too much,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said in January 2019.
“A lot of the time he’s checking on me, I’ll be honest.
“He’s always so positive and he’s just got that youthful enthusiasm about him which is really going to have around, it keeps me going.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was at the Academy this afternoon to watch Rhian Brewster play his first minutes since suffering a long-term knee injury in January 2018. pic.twitter.com/OpRcXSals0
— James Carroll (@James_Carroll84) March 29, 2019
It certainly seems as though Brewster is wiser than his years might suggest.
In fact, in December 2017 Brewster gave an interview to The Guardian which he himself requested in order to list seven incidents in which he or one of his team-mates has suffered racist abuse.
Herman Ouseley, chairman of Kick it Out, was one of the many to urge action on the back of Brewster’s comments: “Rhian has been very courageous. A guy has come out and told us exactly what is going on. Are the institutions going to fail him?
“People might say it is a 17-year-old who is not yet playing at professional elite level – well, hello, that [the lower age levels] is really where the problems begin.”
Klopp said: “I am really happy he is brave enough, and he needed to be brave, to do what he did because it is such an important thing.
“I really can’t believe people still have these thoughts in their mind now. It’s so strange that it happens in this world now and we need a 17-year-old boy to shout out and say it is still happening all the time and that we need help to stop it.
“We are really happy he did that, but it is not a situation you want a 17-year-old to be in. If he needs help we will give it to him.”
Giving another insight into the old head on his young shoulders, Brewster said that, rather than giving him a sense of comfort, his contract extension at Liverpool gave him extra determination to prove himself.
“I don’t like the comfort zone,” Brewster said in 2019. “I like to work hard for my stuff so the injury and trying to get back fit, working hard, is all I’ve been doing.
“I want to prove to everyone that the boss has kept faith in me for a reason and I want to prove to everyone that I’m good enough to be in the first team.
“When I’m back, that is what I hope to do. It doesn’t stop, I’ll keep pushing myself.
“I’ve got to keep going and hopefully I’m here for longer than five years.”
🗓 Oct 28th: Scores in the U17 World Cup final
🗓 Nov 21st: Does the job for Liverpool
Rhian Brewster can't stop scoring! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/zbbv0Qe0k3
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 21, 2017
Born and raised in London, Brewster joined the Shield Academy as a seven-year-old and was scouted by Chelsea after his very first game.
Seymour, who created the Shield Academy in 2007, said Brewster is the best young player to have come through the doors.
“He was scouted in the first two minutes of his first game after rounding the entire opposition, scoring and then grabbing the ball and putting it back on the spot,” Seymour said.
“In the time it took that to happen, Martin Taylor, the academy scout at Chelsea, approached his dad and me, and said he wanted him immediately.”
“He has natural flair and is very talented in many, many ways,” he added. “He looked like a footballer at seven – the way he stood and moved. He was fearless and was delighted to take players on.
“He’s also a very well mannered young man and comes from a humble family.
“I’ve yet to see another player as good as him in all the time I’ve been at the academy.”
Continuing the theme of humility, Seymour said Brewster’s family had no idea just how good a talent he was.
“He was just exceptional,” Seymour said.
“He wanted to take everyone on, and he could. He had the ability to literally take on every single player and they just couldn’t get the ball off him. It was the way he walked, the way he moved. He just wanted the ball all the time. It was a delight.
“His dad came in at the end of training and we asked to have a chat with him because Rhian had been so good. His dad’s first response was, ‘What’s he done wrong?’.
“He’s really humble and that probably gives you an indication. They do know now but over the years Rhian and his parents just didn’t really understand how good Rhian was.”
Speaking after Brewster’s exploits at the World Cup, the former England Under-17s manager said Brewster, who named Roberto Firmino as the Liverpool player he models himself on most, is about far more than just goals.
“It is an amazing achievement to score a hat-trick in a quarter-final and a semi-final,” he said.
“I am not normally one to talk about individuals, but to do that needs a special mention. There is no doubt about that. He deserves it and the team deserves it.
“If you see the way Rhian speaks to the rest of the players in the dressing room about the service he is getting then it says a lot about him.
“And it is not just his goals but the effort he is putting in for the team. We want to win the ball back as quick as we can and we want to press and that starts with your No.9.
“Rhian is a goalscorer, but he is more than that. He is a fantastic character. The feeling is pride and satisfaction in the way we did it.”
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 25, 2017
Sancho played alongside Brewster during the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 and believes that the striker can make it at the top level.
“I feel like he can do it,” Sancho said in 2019. “I have played with him. I know how good he is. He causes defenders nightmares.
“He is a great player. I feel like he is at the right club, he is developing and he is still so young. He is developing and that is the main thing. Just give him the time and patience and you will see.
“I played with him a lot for England and he scored a lot of goals for us and I have assisted him. It’s a good thing for us to have someone like him.”
After recovering from his injury, Brewster finally made his senior debut against MK Dons in the Carabao Cup in September 2019.
“I was his coach when he came from Chelsea (as a 15-year-old),” Liverpool’s assistant boss said ahead of Brewster’s debut.
“That he is already on the bench away at Chelsea, for me, is massive. It makes us all proud. If he does start or doesn’t start tomorrow, he is a player who is every time more ready.
“He had a long injury, it was not that easy for him. But he has goals in him, he has technique, good physically.
“He is a complete striker, a typical nine who can come first post, score with his head, turn in the box, play one-on-one, can score a scruffy goal as well, unbelievable shot. And a good boy. But let’s see.”
Milner has played with some amazing strikers over the years and has been impressed by Brewster’s finishing in training.
“Rhian is an out-and-out goalscorer, you know that he’ll score goals,” Milner told the Evening Standard in September 2019.
“He’s got that hunger and he’s learning from one of the best there is at the other side of the game, Bobby.
“He might not be able to do the Cruyffs that Bobby can do but he is ruthless in front of goal, he’ll get plenty of goals.”
Brewster reunited with Cooper at Swansea City, joining the Championship side on a six-month loan deal in January 2020.
The striker was a revelation for the Swans, scoring 11 goals in 22 appearances as they reached the play-off semi-finals.
“I’ve not been surprised because I really believe in the boy,” Cooper said in June 2020.
“We know he obviously has the talent to have an impact on games, but I also know he has the drive and commitment and I think that is so important in the league.
“He’s a good player, a great lad, and very well liked by the boys here. He’s settled in brilliantly, loves life in Swansea, and is enjoying playing every week.”
"One of English football's rising stars is shining brightly!" 🌟
What a free-kick from Swansea City's Rhian Brewster! 🎯🔥 pic.twitter.com/omXokAW0fh
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) June 30, 2020
Ayew played with Brewster at Swansea in 2020, and the 30-year-old winger has raved about the England Under-21 international.
“He has everything to play for,” Ayew said. “He has goals, he has speed, he has power, shots and he’s still young.
“He has a few things to improve on, but when we are talking about a pure finisher, a talent in front of goal, he has it all. He has everything a striker needs and that’s very important.
“When you’re 19 or 20 and you see the potential he has, if he works hard I think he’ll be a top, top, top player.
“He has the qualities to be in the Premier League and there is no discussion about it.”
Reflecting on his loan spell at the Liberty Stadium, Brewster believes that the experience was vital for his development.
“It was a good experience – a great experience, I would say,” Brewster told Swansea’s official website.
“Going there in January, having that first game against Cardiff and the last game against Brentford, I’ve had a lot of experiences, ups and downs in football.
“I would say I had more highs than lows there, but it was a great experience and great to get some first-team games under my belt.
“It’s very good for your development at such a young age. Not a lot of 20-year-olds can say they’ve played in the play-offs. Obviously we didn’t quite make it to the final and get promoted, but to play in the semi-final, the cameras are on you and they are high-pressure games, as you will have seen on TV.
“So, it’s good to get them under your belt from an early age and who knows, hopefully I can play in a lot more high-pressure games to come.”
Klopp will have been keeping a close eye on Brewster during his loan spell at Swansea and gave the striker a chance in pre-season.
“Rhian is a young boy and he knows he can learn a lot of things but he is a natural goalscorer,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website after his two goals against RB Salzburg.
“That is what he is. Yes, he was involved a bit but in the decisive moments, he is 100 per cent there. I like the kid and it is all good. He scored three in two games, that is not bad.”
He’s only gone and equalised!!
Having been on the pitch just 15 minutes Brewster has a brace and #LFC are level after trailing 2-0.
Curtis Jones (19) causing all the problems.
RB Salzburg 2-2 RBrewster. pic.twitter.com/FWAXOQSAv4
— The Three Cubs – England Youth Scout (@The3Cubs) August 25, 2020
Many talented young players have failed to make it in the past, of course, but speaking about his decision to swap Chelsea for Liverpool, Brewster left nobody in any doubt that he has the right attitude to make it at the very top.
“I didn’t see a pathway to become a first-team player at Chelsea,” Brewster said in 2017.
“There were a few clubs interested but once I knew Liverpool were one of them it was an easy choice.
“All I want to do is one day play for Liverpool’s first team. I will do all I can to try and make that happen so if that means doing extra work in training I will do it.
“If it means not going out with my friends, eating well and working hard every day, that has to be done and I will do it.”