Liverpool swapping Rhian Brewster for Ismaila Sarr could improve the Reds next season. The talented 20-year-old could be on his way around, say reports.
Sky Sports, among others, claims that Liverpool could sell Brewster. The 20-year-old is now back at Anfield after a successful spell with Swansea City but the right may cash-in.
That’s despite his goals in pre-season – and a successful half-season in the Championship – suggesting he’s a player of real potential.
And Liverpool may have a new forward lined up to replace him – Ismaila Sarr. The Evening Standard reported last month that the Reds liked the look of the player but that Watford want £40m. Twice what Liverpool hope to get for Brewster.
That’s a lot of money. Sarr only scored five times and assisted four last season. Those are hardly the stats of a £40m player.
Whereas Brewster scored 11 goals in 22 games for Swansea, despite being two years younger.
Despite those stats, though, switching out Brewster for Sarr might make a lot of sense.
The biggest problem Brewster has is that he’s an out-and-out forward. Liverpool don’t actually play with one and either the team or the player would need to adapt. The Reds use a ‘False 9’ system, with a central forward who drops deep and wingers who score goals, rather than the other way around.
Jurgen Klopp hinted at this problem as he recently talked about Brewster needing to be ‘more involved’ in games before he hits it big. Yes, he can score goals but what else can he do?
Now, we believe there’s no better place to teach Brewster those things than Liverpool. That doesn’t mean Klopp and co. are willing to do so, however.
That takes time and effort. It also means either switching tactics to help Brewster or playing with a striker you know doesn’t fit. Either way, the team suffers.
The question is whether Brewster is good enough to warrant those changes. He may be but we really don’t know – he hasn’t played Premier League football, after all.
And that’s where Sarr comes in. We do know certain things about Sarr. For one, he can play a variety of positions, immediately making him easier to use than Brewster.
Sarr mainly plays from the right – a role Liverpool already have – but he can also play as a centre-forward. Now, he’s not a ‘False 9’ either, but it’s far easier to use him as he learns.
You can play Sarr for 80 minutes on the right and move him central for ten. That’s not a luxury you get with Brewster – it’s all or nothing with him. He’s either central for all of his time or he’s not playing.
Sarr also comes with the benefit of top-flight experience. We know he can do what he does against top players and that suggests he can learn new roles against top players, too. There’s no guarantee with Brewster there.
Brewster may be a better talent than Sarr. He may have a higher ceiling. But at Liverpool, Sarr is more likely to fulfil his potential than Brewster. And that’s what may seal this switch.