Liverpool U23 manager Neil Critchley believes young striker Rhian Brewster is on the right track to a full recovery, The Liverpool Echo reports. Critchley commented on Brewster’s fitness after he featured for the U23 team against Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs won 4-0 against Liverpool’s U23 team but this match was important for Brewster. The 19-year-old played over 70 minutes for the Reds as he tries to get back up to speed.
Brewster spent a lengthy period of time out injured with issues with his ankle and knee. His knee injury was particularly serious but he returned at the end of last season, sitting on the bench in the Champions League semi-final and final.
Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan of the teenager. Brewster was a major part of his pre-season plans and he scored four goals but has since dropped to the U23 team because he has struggled to match the first-team intensity.
Speaking about Brewster’s fitness, Critchley told The Echo: “Rhian needs to build up volume of football. He’s had a good pre-season where he has stayed fit and has managed some minutes for the first team and scored a couple of goals for them.
“He just has to keep playing games. If he does that, I’m sure at some point his fitness and general all-round game, co-ordination, his agility, his touch, his awareness, that will come back. You have to remember how long he was out for. There were really good signs from him.”
Liverpool opted against signing a new attacking player in the summer, opening up a door for Brewster. Daniel Sturridge has departed so there is a squad place for Brewster if he can prove himself.
The England youth international is an undoubted talent who knows where the net is. But after such a long time out, it is natural that he needs a bit more time. Klopp must be careful not to rush him into the first-team, giving him a few minutes here and there until he is back at full tilt.
If Brewster can match his pre-season form and stay fit, then Liverpool have a first-team-ready teenager on their hands. This could be an exciting season for Brewster.