Why putting Wirral ahead of Wembley shows Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster is on the right track


As choices go, it was pretty stark.

On one hand there was Wembley. A crowd of 81,381. England against Germany.

The chance to take a bow, paraded on the pitch at the home of English football as a World Cup winner with your under-17 team-mates. Maybe show off that Golden Boot earned with eight goals in India last month.

On the other there was Prenton Park, maybe closer to just the 381 in the crowd.

Bucketing rain, chilly, windy, and the glory only of the Premier League International Cup first group game.

For Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster the decision was simple.

Playing football is what he does. Prenton Park it was.

He almost got the dream homecoming as well, put through on goal in the first minute against Newcastle by the excellent Ovie Ejaria. He opted for power with his shot and was denied by the goalkeeper in what proved one of his few sights of goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 win.

Rhian Brewster of England poses with adidas Golden Boot award

Off after around 65 minutes, he couldn’t get on the scoresheet but he was back playing football in a red shirt.

His manager Neil Critchley was happy with the run-out and just over an hour was always the plan.

“He only trained for two days really after being off for seven or eight days so 60-65 minutes was always the plan,” he said.

“He could have had one or two in the first half, I thought he looked sharp so it was nice to see him back playing for us.”

There’s been no fuss from Brewster on his return – that Golden Boot hasn’t made its way to the Kirkby Academy yet – and no-one is inclined to make a fuss of him. Getting on with work is paramount as Critchley explained.

“He’s just been the same boy as went away, as we knew he would be,” he added. “He won’t change, you could see the way he played.

“He was itching to play. The England U17s were on the pitch at Wembley for the England v Germany game and he wanted to play for us and rightly so.

“He’s a footballer and we’ve got a game and he wanted to play. That tells you all you need to know about him.

Liverpool's Rhian Brewster scores England's first goal during the FIFA U17 World Cup final against Spain

“We had a little chat with him the other day and then it’s ‘right, off we go, back down to work’.

“He’s probably a little bit more confident, you can see that he’s had a bit of a lift. No doubt it was a magnificent achievement for him. But he knows that he’s got a lot to do here.

“Alex (Inglethorpe, Liverpool’s Academy director) has said in the press and I’ve said that we don’t want it to be the defining moment of his career. It was a great achievement but he and us want more for him.”

Brewster will next appear on Saturday night in an absolute cracker at Prenton Park when top of Premier League 2 Liverpool take on second place Everton in a mini-Derby that whets the appetite.

“It’s a great game to look forward to under the lights here,” added Critchley.


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