Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster is on the cusp of completing a £23.5 million move to Sheffield United following reports from The Athletic.
According to Goal, Liverpool will receive an initial fee of around £18m ($23m) with the rest due in performance-related add-ons.
Brewster, 20, was an absentee from Liverpool’s 18-man squad that was defeated on penalties to Arsenal in the Carabao Cup last night.
The teenager reportedly travelled to south Yorkshire on Thursday evening, hence his unavailability as Brewster prepares for a medical to finalise terms with Chris Wilder.
According to the report from reputable journalist David Ornstein, Liverpool will have a 15 per cent sell-on clause and hold a buy-back clause that is valid for three years.
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Rhian Brewster represents outstanding business
When you consider the fact that Brewster is still very much an unproven prospect, £23.5 million is nothing shy of a masterstroke financially from Liverpool’s behalf.
The teenager is yet to feature in the Premier League whatsoever and his only real experience in the professional game stands at just 22 appearances in the Championship with Swansea City last season – where he did score 11 goals.
If this is goodbye for Brewster, then the young striker will leave with a bright future ahead of him. Liverpool maintained that they would only sell the former Chelsea academy graduate if a buy-back clause were inserted into the player’s contract which indicates just how highly the Reds rate him.
It effectively means the player gets the chance to go and play, with Liverpool keeping close tabs on his development in the meantime, knowing they have first dibs to bring him back to Merseyside should they wish.
The reality was that he was never going to become a leading light at Liverpool anytime soon. He couldn’t displace any of the established elite front three and he couldn’t convince Klopp that he had the tactical discipline to impact form the bench which forced the club’s hand to splash out £45 million to secure the services of Diogo Jotam from Wolves.
Liverpool have committed to spending around £82 million this summer on the signings of Thiago Alcantara, Jota and Kostas Tsimikas. However, they have already recouped around £28 million already following the sales of Dejan Lovren, Ovie Ejaria and Ki-Jana Hoever — and that figure looks set to grow considerably.
Crystal Palace and Brighton are also said to have maintained an interest in Brewster. Liverpool had initially contemplated a loan for the striker this summer but the prospect of including a buyback clause into the deal changed the dynamic and made a permanent transfer more attractive.
Brewster is certainly a clinical finisher, as he demonstrated in pre-season, yet Klopp believes there are other areas of his game that need tidying up before he’s ready to compete with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Takumi Minamino or Jota for a regular starting berth.
The Thiago factor
Liverpool have become the envy of all the footballing world when it comes to success in the transfer market and Michael Edwards’ involvement in the Brewster deal is the latest vindication to the club’s sustained financial approach.
The club’s influential sporting director was also able to command a sizeable £13.5 million fee for 18-year-old defender Hoever who recently joined Wolves.
Hoever, similarly to Brewster, was unable to clock up any appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool yet because of Edwards’ reputation as a shrewd operator, his track record in the market was able to significantly drive up the price.
The sale of Brewster coupled by Shaqiri’s expected departure following his omission from Klopp’s squad last night could see Liverpool rake in up to £43.5 million for the attacking duo which added to the already confirmed sales of Lovren, Ejaria and Hoever will see the club’s funds rise to £71.5 million.
To put that into perspective, that is just £10m short of the total expenditure Liverpool used to purchase Thiago, Jota and Tsimikas.
Also, when you consider that not one of the players sold by the club is a regular starter under Klopp, Liverpool have remarkably and significantly strengthened the bulk of their squad without so much as putting a dent in the club’s finances.
It is also gobsmacking when you consider that Liverpool were able to command a similar price for Brewster to that they paid for Thiago. This isn’t to underplay Brewster’s undeniable talent, yet when you consider his transfer value is pretty much identical to that of one of the world’s best players is pretty staggering, to say the least.
It’s further vindication to Liverpool’s growing status as as one of Europe’s shrewdest operators. The fact Liverpool have meticulously improved key areas to their squad without so much as any financial damage to the club is one of many reasons why the Reds and Edwards have somehow capped off a perfect summer transfer window.
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