Rhian Brewster’s trophy cabinet would turn 99.99% of professional footballers a lovely shade of shamrock green with jealousy.
At 19, the striker has already been part of winning squads in the 2018/19 Champions League, 2019 UEFA Super Cup and 2017 Under-17 World Cup.
Brewster has scored 24 goals in 30 games for various England age groups, ranging from the Under-16s all the way through to the Under-21s, marking him out as a truly exceptional talent amongst his peers.
On the face of it, Brewster’s decision to swap Chelsea for Liverpool in 2014, having previously spent six years at Stamford Bridge, has been handsomely rewarded.
And yet, for all the silverware, Brewster is yet to play a single minute of Premier League football.
Brewster’s only first-team football for Liverpool is currently condensed into 90 minutes alongside the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever, Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones in the the Generic Energy Drink Cup.
An injury suffered while playing for Liverpool’s Under-23 side against Man City in January 2018 has undoubtedly played its part in Brewster’s lack of first-team appearances.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s got one of Europe’s best no.9s in Roberto Firmino ahead of him, while fellow front man Divock Origi hasn’t let Jurgen Klopp down whenever selected.
For Brewster to earn a regular starting place at Liverpool requires an unlikely collective combination of injuries, loss of form and luck.
Given the increasing pace of Frank Lampard’s youth-driven project at Chelsea, it’s tempting to ponder what would have happened to Brewster had he stayed in London.
The logic in leaving Chelsea for Liverpool was sound at the time, given the Blues’ shocking record of progressing young footballers into the senior side.
And yet a transfer ban has suddenly left Chelsea with little option but to turn to their glittering academy, of which Brewster was once a leading member.
A photo posted on social media by current Chelsea assistant first-team coach Joe Edwards included Marc Guehi and Reece James, both whom had been a part of the 7-1 win against Grimsby, alongside Brewster.
Given Cesar Azpilicueta’s uncharacteristic struggles this season, it won’t be long before James makes his Premier League debut. That it should come before Brewster’s is one of football’s typical ironies.
Fellow academy graduates Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori are also going from strength to strength under Lampard, while teenager Billy Gilmour gained praise from Cesc Fabregas after his display against Grimsby and has already made his Premier League debut.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that Brewster would be any better placed had he stayed at Chelsea.
Abraham’s form, scoring seven goals in his first seven Premier League appearances of the season, shows just how difficult an obstacle he would have been to overcome in Chelsea’s pecking order.
It’s also clear that Klopp rates Brewster, given he stopped the striker from going out on loan at the start of the season.
Whatever the case, the 2019/20 season will be a pivotal campaign in Brewster’s bid to pave a way at Liverpool and prove that his decision to leave Chelsea was the right one.
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