Liverpool’s teenage striker Rhian Brewster is ready to make his debut in the absence of the injured duo of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino when they host Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Salah (concussion) and Firmino (muscular injury) would not be available for the second leg of the tie at Anfield as they look to overturn a 3-0 deficit.
Brewster had been sidelined for the majority of the season with an ankle injury and returned to action last month for the club’s under-23 team, playing two matches where he grabbed a goal and an assist.
Klopp said the youngster has regained match fitness to be considered for his senior debut.
“Rhian has been in just outstanding shape for the last three or four weeks,” said Klopp.
“It’s just good so now it’s really nice in a difficult situation that we can give him that spot in the squad and have him there to bring on as a striker.”
Asked if Brewster would be involved against Barcelona, Klopp replied: “He’s ready, there’s a big chance. It’s nearly sure, it’s guaranteed.
“The situations are always like this. In an ideal world, in a season you always have much more players than you can involve in a squad. When you’re on the bench, you are an option to play.”
Who is Rhian Brewster?
Brewster was born on April 1, 2000, making him 19 years old.
He is an England youth international and shot to fame when he won the Golden Boot at the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 where he scored eight goals.
The striker has only been named in the matchday squad once before, as an unused substitute in the home defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017 when Klopp’s side was again ravaged by injury.
Brewster signed from Chelsea at the age of 15 and is highly-rated at Liverpool.
Former Reds star Gary Gillespie is a huge fan and wished the player well ahead of his impending debut.
“Young Rhian Brewster I watched in the under-18s and he was a great prospect,” Gillespie told Love Sport Radio.
“After what he’s been through with his injury, to get a game in the semi-final against Barcelona on a European night at Anfield would be absolutely huge for him.
“If he does get on and he does play, I wish him all the best.”
Brewster agreed his first professional contract with the club last year to tie him to Anfield until 2023 after reported interest from Borussia Monchengladbach.
According to Spotrac.com, the Liverpool youngster takes home an annual salary of £520,000, which equates to £10,000 per week.
His relationship status is unknown at the moment.