Rhian Brewster will be given his “first sniff” of life in a first-team Liverpool squad for the Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old has recently recovered from a knee injury that has kept him out for almost a year and despite not making a single first-team appearance to date, Jurgen Klopp holds him in very high regard.
Klopp has included Brewster in the group that has travelled to Barcelona for their Champions League semi-final first leg and speaking to Liverpool’s official website, the German couldn’t contain his excitement at the prospect of giving the youngster his breakthrough next season.
“He is the next really exciting prospect,” Klopp said. “If you see him training… next season will be his season, his first real season.
“He is now physically an adult, he grew a lot, he worked a lot and the training session today was, to be honest, pretty impressive.
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“He is with us, he is our player and we want to have him around. In this case, I thought, ‘Come on, it’s Barcelona, let’s give him a first sniff.'”
In the past, Brewster has praised the role Klopp has played in his recovery from injury, explaining at a club event: “During this injury I’ve had that, he has been there from beginning to the end and to know he still wants me – even though it’s been so long – gives me a great boost.
“Every time I see him he gives me a big hug.”
Brewster has 15 goals and 13 assists in 36 games at youth level for Liverpool to date while for England’s development sides, he has notched 24 goals in 28 caps, picking up a Fifa U17 World Cup winner’s medal along the way.
It is widely expected that he will rival or replace Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge as Klopp’s alternative to the likes of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah in Liverpool’s front three.