Rhian Brewster: Who is the 17-year-old England & Liverpool goalscoring sensation?

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The teenager scored a hat-trick for his country against Brazil in a World Cup semi-final on Wednesday, setting the internet ablaze

Rhian Brewster scores goals. A striker for Liverpool and England’s Under-17 team, Brewster suddenly finds himself the talk of the internet after two electric showings in the U17 World Cup.

U17 World Cup odds here

First, he scored a hat-trick against the United States in the quarter-final, as England won 4-1. Then on Wednesday, in a high-pressure semi-final against pre-tournament favourites Brazil, he scored another treble to send England, almost single-handedly, into the final.

This is Brewster fighting back from heartbreak. So clearly talented — he is quick and agile, as well as remarkably clinical — Brewster was in the thick of it as England reached the final of the U17 European Championships earlier this year.

He scored three goals en route to an encounter with Spain, which the Young Lions appeared poised to win. They were 2-1 up when the fourth official confirmed that six minutes would be added added to the 90. Spain won a corner, Nacho Diaz scored in the final minute of added-on time and La Roja won 4-1 on penalties. Brewster hit the post with his spot-kick.

Brewster 2

It was cruel, but he had a supportive shoulder waiting for him when he returned to Liverpool. Steven Gerrard, now entrenched in the club’s academy system, coaching the club’s U18 team, took him aside. The former Reds captain has been there and done it, and knows all about penalty heartbreak from his experience with the senior England side.

“He had a chat with me after the Euros,” Brewster told the club’s official website.

“Obviously I missed my pen in the final, and the first thing he asked me was: ‘Would you take it again?’”

“I said ‘yeah’, and he said ‘that’s right’. He said that the biggest thing that could have happened with me missing that pen now… he said [it’s better] than to be missing that pen later on in your career, in maybe the Euros for the first team or the World Cup for the first team.

“He told me to make sure I practice and focus on every single pen that I take, and always put 100 per cent in.”

Redemption appears within reach. England’s Young Lions have waited mere months for the World Cup, instead of the usual two years that senior teams must cope with, and Brewster was confident beforehand, insisting that nothing other than victory would be enough.

 

 

“It should be a great experience because you don’t really go to World Cups often, so I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll play a lot and score goals,” the 17-year-old said.

“Obviously we were very, very disappointed to concede with basically the last kick of the game and then to lose on pens [in the Euros final], but I think that will make us stronger and hopefully we can go one better.

“I think it’s good that it’s so soon because we don’t want to feel like that again and if we don’t want to feel like that again, we have to win.”

This is a driven young man, clearly aware of what he wants. Brewster has not yet played for the senior team but reports suggest that Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan, and the manager included the youngster on the bench in last season’s 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield.

It could have been so different. Born in London, Brewster was initially on the books at Chelsea. At the age of 14, he decided there was no real option for progression to the first-team for him at Stamford Bridge, and thus decided to move on, packing up his things and venturing north.

“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.

“Liverpool is a club that does give young players opportunities and it’s a great feeling to play for this club.

“All I want to do is one day play for Liverpool’s first team. I will do all I can to try and make that happen, so if that means doing extra work in training I will do it.

“If it means not going out with my friends, eating well and working hard every day, that has to be done and I will do it.”

Fame as a youth player can be fleeting, as the likes of Freddy Adu and John Bostock can attest, but Brewster appears to have allied talent with steely determination; he dreams of “getting to a World Cup with England and winning it”.

He’ll be able to do just that on Saturday if he carries on his goalscoring exploits, and with his abilities, it may serve as mere practice for the senior side.

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