Liverpool completed a £23m deal to send Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United this season. It appears they got thing one wrong, however.
Liverpool have a fantastic transfer record in recent years. We can go on and on about their signings, of course, but even the sales are good.
How about that time they got £19m from Bournemouth for Dominic Solanke?
There are even instances without Bournemouth overpaying for a young player Liverpool tried and failed with.
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They did really well to get £22m for Danny Ings back in 2019, too. The doubts over his injury record made that a risky fee for the Saints.
Then there’s the pinnacle – £142m for Philippe Coutinho. One of the best and most important deals in the club’s history.
Despite all this success, though, we think Liverpool may finally have got one wrong this season.
On the face of it, Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster deal is sensational. They got £23m for a player with zero goals in 11 games this season.
But we think they’ll come to regret it.
Liverpool sold Brewster to help him develop. There’s a buyback clause, after all. Loaning the player carries less guarantee, given there’s no real obligation for the club to grow the player long-term.
The Reds wanted a sale so they had a commitment to development – and we outlined why that’s a good idea here.
Unfortunately, it went wrong. Sheffield United are absolutely atrocious this season and Brewster suffers as a result. There’s no chance, as things are now, that Liverpool will use that buyback clause.
Liverpool thought they were loaning Brewster to a ninth-place team, of course. Instead, the Blades have two points from 15 games.
It turns out, then, that Liverpool should have loaned him.
It’s important to remember that while £23m is a fantastic price for a player with six months of senior football, that’s also how much a team was willing to pay for someone with just six months of senior football.
In other words, a full Championship season – let alone Premier League – would have grown that price significantly.
A loan deal could have secured that. Just look at how Harvey Elliott is playing right now, for instance, and how his reputation has risen.
Even just another year with Swansea, where we know he plays well, would have worked.
Liverpool miss out on that, though. They assumed they entered a no-risk deal because Brewster would develop fine with Sheffield United. If he was bad, they got £23m, if he was good, they had a buyback clause.
Instead, he has little to no chance of becoming a top player there. Even if he has the ability to do it, we won’t see it – not until they drop into the Championship.
This feels like a lost year, then, that will hamper Brewster’s development.
If the Reds had opted for the loan deal, that wouldn’t be the case and his price likely would be far higher. At the very least, they could reassess in a year.
It appears they picked the wrong option for once.