Rhian Brewster is hailed as ‘a complete striker’ by Liverpool No 2 Pep Lijnders ahead of potential debut against MK Dons in Carabao Cup
- Rhian Brewster has come through the ranks and is now in the first-team squad
- The English striker won the golden boot at the 2017 Under-17’s World Cup
- Despite appearing on the bench he is yet to make his competitive first-team bow
- Liverpool are expected to make plenty of changes for the trip to Stadium MK
Rhian Brewster has been described by Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders as a ‘complete striker’ ahead of a potential senior debut in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
The Reds’ starting line-up for the third-round tie at MK Dons is expected to feature a considerable number of changes from Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League win at Chelsea.
There could be a long-awaited bow for Brewster, the 19-year-old who in 2017 helped England win an Under-17s World Cup at which he was the top-scorer with eight goals.
Rhian Brewster could make his competitive first-team debut for Liverpool on Wednesday
Brewster, pictured here with fellow youngster Curtis Jones (L), scored four goals in pre-season
He was an unused substitute at Stamford Bridge, and Lijnders said of the England Under-21 international on Tuesday: ‘I was his coach when he came from Chelsea (as a 15-year-old).
‘That he is already on the bench away at Chelsea, for me, is massive. It makes us all proud. If he does start or doesn’t start tomorrow, he is a player who is every time more ready.
‘He had a long injury [Brewster had ankle and knee surgery in 2017-18], it was not that easy for him. But he has goals in him, he has technique, good physically.
‘He is a complete striker, a typical nine who can come first post, score with his head, turn in the box, play one-on-one, can score a scruffy goal as well, unbelievable shot. And a good boy. But let’s see.’
Caoimhin Kelleher could deputise for Adrian in goal for the Carabao Cup third-round tie
Other youngsters who could be given debuts by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on Wednesday are 20-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, and Harvey Elliott, the 16-year-old midfielder signed from Fulham over the summer who last season became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player.
Winger Xherdan Shaqiri has been ruled out by a small tear in his calf, but midfielder Naby Keita, who has been sidelined for seven games by a groin issue, is fit to make his return to action, while Sadio Mane (knock), Divock Origi (calf) and Alisson Becker (calf) are unavailable.
Lijnders stressed – with regard to the line-up against the League One Dons – that ‘we will put a team in place that for me is a Premier League team’.
Harvey Elliott became the youngest player in Premier League history at 16 years and 30 days
He said: ‘We want to compete in each competition, attack each competition. We work so hard to be in this situation where we can compete in each one.
‘For me, cup competitions are the soul of football because it represents a past like where smaller clubs can play against Premier League clubs as an example, and give historic games to fans.
‘For me, the cup competitions is something special.’
Pep Lijnders (middle) originally came to Liverpool in 2014 and worked under Brendan Rodgers
The Dutchman was also asked about Klopp claiming the men’s coach award, Alisson taking the men’s goalkeeper award and the Champions League winners’ defender Virgil Van Dijk finishing second among the nominees for the men’s player award at The Best FIFA Football awards on Monday.
Lijnders said: ‘Big compliment for our structure I think. For our owners, for our team, and then of course a big compliment for Jurgen himself.
‘I’m really proud. He is not only the face of the team, of course, he is the face of the club and I think not many foreign managers in a different country made the impact he made at Liverpool.’