Rhian Brewster has found his stride at Swansea in his first senior loan spell, but what should his immediate future at Liverpool hold?
The 20-year-old joined the Championship outfit and their push for promotion in January and has since failed to miss a game, playing all but 110 minutes out of a possible 1620.
The young striker has reaped the benefits of the loan experience having scored nine goals in his 18 appearances as the Swans push for a playoff spot for promotion into the topflight, with five arriving following the restart.
Brewster has certainly shown potential and a hunger to succeed at the highest level and has caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp who acknowledged he has “played a good season” and “shown his talent absolutely.”
But both have remained tight-lipped over what his future could entail, another loan spell or a place in Liverpool’s first-team squad.
The boss has been steadfast in his stance of “creating our transfers internally” in an unpredictable and unprecedented financial landscape, a position which will benefit the club’s young stars as Klopp is firm in his belief that it is only about “how good you are” not “how old you are.”
Having pulled out of a deal for Timo Werner and with another quiet summer ahead, Brewster could look to move up the pecking order and operate as another rotational option in place of Roberto Firmino.
At just 20, Brewster will be shielded from the weight of expectation, irrespective of where his short-term future lies, allowing him to both develop and earn invaluable experience in the senior game.
This Is Anfield asked fans on Facebook if they felt Brewster should be sent out on loan next season or retained as a member of the senior team, and 73 percent of the 15,600 fans who voted were emphatically in favour of the latter.
Having shown potential and with another season of games across four competitions, in addition to the five substitute rule potentially being retained, many feel Brewster would act as a valuable back-up.
For Louise Dune, Brewster should be given an opportunity to make a mark after impressing for Swansea, writing: “My Swansea supporting mate is totally in love with the lad…I reckon he should be given a chance at the club.
“Use him as a sub and in the cups.”
Meanwhile, Paul Milner feels the 20-year-old can offer greater competition to the prolific front three in place of Divock Origi, writing: “A natural goal scorer who can push the top three better than Origi.”
And it is a point John Bennett agreed with, especially if the Premier League is to retain five substitutions next season:
“He’s got to be part of the squad he’s probably as good as Origi now and will only improve with the squad and I can’t see why he wouldn’t get game time especially if they stick to five subs.”
On the other hand, Eion Wilson is of the view that a spell away elsewhere in the topflight could be more beneficial to continue his development:
“Would like to see him get first-team action for another premier league team first then assess him.”
With the newly promoted Leeds United the ideal location for Dan Yates, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side deploying a style which would benefit his progression, writing: “I would loan him to Leeds. They play good football. Beilsa would be good for him.”
The 20-year-old made his Liverpool debut in the League Cup win over MK Dons in September in what was the first of three senior outings prior to his switch to Swansea, and like so many of the club’s young guns, does not suffer from a lack of confidence.
Should the Reds refrain from adding to their attack in the transfer window and with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri set to depart, a slot will no doubt be open for Brewster to push towards – with many, as aforementioned, in the view that he could offer more than Origi.
His development will, of course, be key to any decision off the back of a long-term injury, but it would certainly be exciting to see another of the club’s academy players transition into the first team on a consistent basis.