Jurgen Klopp has insisted there is “no reason to rush” the decision over Rhian Brewster‘s next step, but admitted “experience helps a lot” for a Liverpool striker.
Brewster returned from a half-season loan at Swansea that saw him score 11 times in 22 games and has so far struck three times in two pre-season friendlies for the Reds.
Saturday will see him involved in the Community Shield against Arsenal, after which he will depart on international duty with the England under-21s.
Upon his return he is set for talks with Klopp and the club’s hierarchy over whether he will spend the upcoming campaign as part of the Liverpool first team or head out on another loan to gain experience, with at least 11 clubs interested.
The transfer window is not due to close until October 5, and while a decision is likely to be made long before then, Klopp has a quandary on his hands when it comes to how best to aid Brewster’s development.
“In the moment he is, then we have to see what will happen in the next few weeks or so,” he said when asked if the 20-year-old features in his plans for the season.
“We want to use Rhian, but we want to help Rhian as well, so that’s why we have to make these decisions. But not now, obviously.
“He looks really promising, I know goals are the most important thing in the football world, so if he can score goals that’s good.
“And all the rest, we will see. He’s still a young boy, and especially on this No. 9 position, experience helps a lot.
“We have see how we can give him the experience. Is it here? Is it somewhere else? It’s not decided yet, why should we?
“There’s absolutely no reason to rush it. He’s our boy and so now in the moment he is here, and he will be involved [on Saturday], in the squad for sure, and that’s it.”
Sheffield United have been stationed as front-runners for Brewster’s signature, and while they are perhaps the most accomplished side in pursuit, it is questionable whether Chris Wilder can offer him enough game time.
The likes of Aston Villa, Newcastle, Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Fulham have also enquired, but it is a delicate balancing act deciding which is the best course of action.
It can be argued that Brewster is better suited as backup to Klopp’s established front three than the current option in Divock Origi, but at this stage in his career minutes on the pitch are a priority.
Usually, Klopp has been more emphatic when it comes to whether or not a young player is included in his plans.
But when it comes to his No. 24, his prodigious talent has made it a real conundrum.