By Daniel Moxon – @dmoxon_
Liverpool Football Club’s prowess and record of producing young talent is excellent – every single season there are always at least a couple of young whippersnappers who look like they could come good for the Reds in the near future.
The Anfield outfit should be commended for this. It has become more fashionable of late to develop young English talent – partly because clubs have found that they can usually sell them on for disproportionate and inflated fees – but there is still a lack of youth development in elite Premier League teams across the board.
One lad that certainly looks to have a bright future is Rhian Brewster, England’s youth World Cup hero , golden boot winner, recent professional contract earner at Liverpool and an excellent talent for a young teenager.
Now, before I properly begin, I want to clarify that I certainly recognise the young man’s talent, I like his attitude and I believe that, with the right steps taken by both himself and the club, he has the potential to become a fine player for the Reds in the future.
However – maybe it’s the cynic in me – but I can’t help but take words like ‘potential’ and ‘prospect’ with a pinch of salt.
There have been so many players, at Liverpool alone, that have promised so much and yet gone on to deliver little or nothing for the first team – many of which have ended-up moving on quietly to obscure leagues with shattered dreams and plenty of unfulfilled potential.
One of these players was Samed Yesil (remember him?) – he arrived in 2012 for a £1m fee from Bayer Leverkusen and was supposed to be the next big breakthrough star, except he wasn’t – and he has one particularly unnerving similarity to young Rhian.
Yesil’s ‘promising’ career went off a cliff when he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, followed by a second one within a year.
These two long-term injuries stunted his progress and affected his confidence, and he was never the same player before being released in 2017, and he now currently plies his trade for KFC Uerdingen 05 in the third tied of German football.
Brewster has been out of action for a long time now himself with an ankle ligament injury sustained in January, meaning that, like Yesil’s before him, his natural progress he would have gained from playing and training during all those months has been lost.
He was progressing wonderfully under the watchful eye of then-u18s manager Steven Gerrard, but how can we know that he will be the same player when he finally makes his return, which is anticipated to still be a month or two away?
We can’t know. In some ways that’s comforting – he doesn’t look like he’s lost confidence on social media and in interviews, he still seems hungry, which is very encouraging, and he does have a lot of natural talent to fall back on.
But it does mean that only time will tell, and that the jury remains firmly out on the future of young Rhian Brewster at Liverpool Football Club.
Let’s just hope that we won’t see the lad playing in the third tier of any country in the near future.