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Rhian Brewster: Who is the England Under-17 and Liverpool wonderkid?

Rhian Brewster
Rhian Brewster scored a hat trick against Brazil on Wednesday to send England to the U17 World Cup final.

Rhian Brewster is in the spotlight after his hat trick against Brazil on Wednesday put England into the Under-17 World Cup final.

Here are five things to know about Liverpool's 17-year-old striker.

1. He caught the attention of Klopp immediately

On just his second day as Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp went down to the club's Kirkby academy to watch the U18s play Stoke City. At half-time in that affair, Klopp made the short walk to a nearby pitch to observe the U16s, where Brewster was playing.

With Klopp watching, in a rather bizarre move, Brewster was taken off after 50 minutes for the U16s and then told to head down to main pitch at Kirkby. The striker was racing down to the older age group and with the sound of football studs clattering on concrete, initially darted past Klopp. Realising his error, the 15-year-old Brewster paused, then circled back round to approach the newly appointed first-team manager, shake his hand and then go on to make his U18s debut in a 10-minute cameo. A switched-on player on and off the pitch.

2. Liverpool have had high hopes for him since moving from Chelsea

Like Dominic Solanke did this summer, Brewster, by his account, left Chelsea for Liverpool because he felt there was no path to a breakthrough at Stamford Bridge. He was a Chelsea prodigy from the age of 7 until Liverpool picked him up when he was 15. Former Liverpool U23s manager Michael Beale had coached Brewster at Chelsea, and shortly after the coach's departure from Liverpool, he abruptly declared in an interview with The Anfield Wrap that Brewster was a prospect to "pay very close attention to."

Brewster had been flourishing for Neil Critchley's U18s and then, in a Premier League Cup encounter with Ipswich Town, interim U23s boss Mike Garrity decided to "throw him in" for his debut at that level. It was a case of sink or swim for the youngster. Despite having not trained with the U23s at that point, Brewster marked his first at that level with a goal.

Rhian Brewster hasn't made his first-team debut with Liverpool yet but the 17-year-old could burst onto the scene soon.

3. He wasn't prepared for his first-team call-up

As a result of his impressive showings for the youth sides, Brewster has been in and around the first-team setup for some time. He scored a hat trick in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Accrington Stanley last November.

Brewster would have to wait some time to be involved in a competitive game, but he was a surprise inclusion in the matchday squad for the Crystal Palace match at Anfield in April. However, after Klopp informed him of the good news, Brewster was then worried about not having the appropriate attire.

"He was excited about it, he was happy about it," Klopp said. "He told me after I said to him that he was in the squad: 'I have a washbag but I don't have a suit'. No problem -- I don't like the suit too much so it's not a problem.

"That was the only difference, he has a lot of respect in the squad. Nobody thought: 'Who's this?'" Brewster didn't come on in the 2-1 defeat as Klopp later preached for patience with the youngster.

4. He missed out on a preseason tour through injury

Brewster would have had hopes of bursting onto the scene much earlier than his dazzling displays at the U17s World Cup. As Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold received the summer before, Brewster would have been given opportunities during Liverpool's preseason, which featured domestic friendlies and tours of Hong Kong, Germany and Ireland.

His chances were dashed, though, after breaking a bone in his foot while training away from Liverpool during the summer. Brewster was based at the Kirkby academy during his rehabilitation and it was thought he would spend around eight weeks on the sideline. However, he quickly recovered and made his comeback in early August. He's been playing for the U23s and Steven Gerrard's U19s in the UEFA Youth League ever since.

5. He has the ability and swagger a striker needs

As evidenced with his displays for club and country, Brewster is an out-and-out striker with blistering pace and a predatory instinct in front of goal. He also has the confidence all good No. 9s need, but not to the point where it has become a hindrance to his game and an issue for teammates and staff at the club. He used to perform a backflip for his goal celebration before opting for a more risk-averse knee slide.

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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