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Liverpool's Rhian Brewster was always going to stay - under-23s manager

After Liverpool made easy work of West Ham, the FC crew examine what makes the Reds capable of challenging Man City for the Premier League title.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring in the 19th minute and Sadio Mane added two more goals as Liverpool went on to win 4-0 against West Ham.

Liverpool under-23s manager Neil Critchley says he never had any real concern that Rhian Brewster would leave the club this summer.

Brewster signed his first professional contract -- a five-year deal, sources told ESPN FC -- in July to end any possibility of him joining Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer.

The 18-year-old, who left Chelsea at the age of 15, has been promoted to Liverpool's first team as a result and is continuing with his rehabilitation from two operations after damaging ligaments in his ankle back in January.

"I was delighted," Critchley said ahead of Liverpool U-23s' game with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Friday. "I always thought he would sign. I never thought there would be any danger of him leaving.

"I know how much he loves being at Liverpool. I know what the people and the club mean to him. I'm absolutely delighted that he's decided to stay and sees his future at the football club."

Brewster, the Golden Boot winner at the U-17s World Cup last October, anticipates it will be around Christmas before he has the chance to feature for Jurgen Klopp's side.

"He's got his injury issue at the moment," Critchley added. "But I'm sure he'll be doing a few people's heads in down at Melwood, chomping at the bit and ready to return.

"He'll be quite restless. He's a young boy who loves playing football and wants to play football. He'll hugely frustrated at the moment. [The contract] was a real pick-me-up for him and for us."

Brewster's promotion to Melwood, the club's first-team training base, this season coincides with the return of first-team coach Pepijn Lijnders, who is back on Merseyside after his five-month spell managing NEC Nijmegen.

Lijnders' role within Klopp's coaching staff is yet to be disclosed, although the club have said he has returned in a "senior capacity."

"For us as an academy, it's great that Pep is back because he's a big believer in youth and developing young players," Critchley said. "He's obviously a good ally for us to talk to and speak to. I'm delighted that he's back in the first-team fold.

"We're very fortunate because we have good lines of communication, so we have access to training and watch the training [and] obviously we can speak to Pep.

"Also, like yourselves, we observe the games and watch. But we're fortunate that we've got an 'in', so to speak, at Melwood with the first team."

Meanwhile, Liverpool have turned down Torino's approach to take Marko Grujic on a season-long loan, a source has told ESPN FC. Torino wanted a €10 million option to buy the Serbian midfielder at the end of the loan, but Liverpool quickly rejected that offer.

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