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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Rhian Brewster: England’s FIFA U-17 World Cup hero awaits Liverpool chance

Rhian Brewster is seen as one of Liverpool’s hottest prospects, and has staked his claim for a first team opportunity after his heroics for England at the FIFA U-17 World Cup

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 27, 2017 10:38 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rhian Brewster scored hattricks against both USA and Brazil in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Rhian Brewster scored hattricks against both USA and Brazil in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.(Reuters)

Rhian Brewster has made many across the globe take notice of him with his performances at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. The 17-year-old Liverpool starlet leads the race for the golden boot at the tournament after scoring seven goals ahead of Saturday’s final.

Six of Brewster’s seven goals in the competition have come in the last two games, with him scoring hattricks against both USA and Brazil, in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

For those who have followed Brewster’s progress with Liverpool’s youth setup in the last couple of years, his performances wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise.

Alongside Welsh teenager Ben Woodburn, Brewster is being billed as one of Liverpool’s hottest prospects. While he is yet to feature in the senior team, he has already caught the eye of club manager Jurgen Klopp, who included him in a 3-0 win over Sydney FC during the club’s pre-season tour to Australia last summer.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: ‘Dream come true’ for Rhian Brewster as England reach final

Born on April 1, 2000, Brewster was spotted by a Chelsea scout at the age of seven. He joined the club soon after, but decided to leave the club at the age of 14.

“I was at Chelsea from the age of seven to 14 but then I told them I wanted to look at my options because I didn’t see a pathway to become a first-team player there. There were a few clubs interested but once I knew Liverpool were one of them it was an easy choice,” he later told Liverpool’s official website.

Having featured for the club’s U-18 side, Brewster made his debut for Liverpool’s U-23 team in January this year, scoring in a win over Ipswich Town.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: We can match or better any team, says England coach

Two months prior to that, he had also featured for Jurgen Klopp’s senior side in a friendly against English fourth-tier club Accrington Stanley. In that game, which featured a number of Liverpool’s first team regulars, Brewster netted to hattrick to seal a 5-0 win.

His performances saw him train regularly with the senior team towards the end of last season, and was an unused substitute in the 1-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on April 23.

“I’ve known him for probably more than a year and how it is with boys at his age, they grow and that’s good. He is physically stronger, a wonderfully skilled boy, real striker, good finisher, fantastic work ethic and all that stuff,” Klopp said a few days after the game.

Brewster had scored three goals for England at the U-17 European Championship earlier this year, with the team losing in penalties to Spain in the final.