Liverpool prospect Rhian Brewster hopes to finally make his first-team debut by the end of the year having overcome a long-term ankle injury.
Brewster has been out of action since January 2018 and, while he has returned to basic training, the final stages of his rehabilitation are still currently ongoing at the club’s Melwood training facilities.
The 18-year-old only signed his first professional contract with the club in July 2018, but has been unable to push on due to his injury taking longer than expected to recover from.
However, the Englishman is making progress and Jurgen Klopp hopes he will be in contention during pre-season for the 2019-2020 campaign.
“It has been a frustrating time, I’ve been out for a long time and I don’t wish that on anyone,” Brewster told Press Association Sport.
“It’s happened and I’m finally back fit and doing what I love and pushing to get back in the team. To know that the boss really wants me to be in his plans for the future is amazing, especially a boss like him.
“During this injury, I’ve had that, he has been there from the beginning to the end and to know he still wants me - even though it’s been so long - gives me a great boost.
“They could easily have left me at the Academy to do my rehab but they wanted me to do my rehab with them, so I can’t thank them enough.
“Every time I see him he gives me a big hug. Not only him, every time I see the players they are asking about how I am, ‘How long?’.
“They can’t wait for me to be back in training and hopefully make my debut this year, if not next.”
Brewster rose to prominence in 2017 after he helped England’s Under-17 squad to win the World Cup, alongside fellow Premier League prospects Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The striker bagged eight goals in the competition, including a hat-trick in both the quarter-final and semi-final stage of the competition.
His tally was enough to win him the Golden Boot, and he is now looking towards breaking into the Liverpool first team when he returns to full fitness.
Liverpool’s next game is against Bournemouth on February 9 in the Premier League.