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Sunday 22 September 2019

The little red Brewster

Klopp praises new kid on the Kop but there'll be wait to see another Van den Berg

Rhian Brewster celebrates one of his goals against Tranmere on Thursday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Rhian Brewster celebrates one of his goals against Tranmere on Thursday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool have already got a glimpse of one star of the future Rhian Brewster, but will have to wait a little bit longer to see another, Sepp van der Berg.

Brewster (19), scored twice in a 6-0 pre-season friendly win against Tranmere on Thursday, and could end up saving the Reds boss millions in the transfer window if he fulfils his potential.

Summer signing Van Den Berg is set to make his first appearance in a Liverpool shirt on the club's tour of the United States as he is still awaiting international clearance.

Unlikely

Paperwork for the 17-year-old, who arrived last month from PEC Zwolle for an initial £1.3million fee, is still being processed by FIFA and until the club receives official confirmation, he is only allowed to train with the squad.

It means he is unlikely to feature in tomorrow's second pre-season friendly at Bradford but will travel to America with the rest of the squad on Tuesday for training and matches against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon.

Liverpool already have four established centre-backs in Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren - who is interesting AC Milan but will only be allowed to leave for offers in excess of £25m - so Van den Berg has been brought in with one eye on the future.

However, manager Jurgen Klopp has not ruled out the Holland Under-19 defender being involved with the first team this season.

"It depends. I open the door but the boys have to go through still," Klopp said.

"He is a wonderful player as well, but because of FIFA rules he is not available in the moment, but we have other good players.

"He is 17 years old and when you see him you forget that constantly, but he is 17 and so there is a lot to learn."

Klopp is also expected to add more youth to the ranks with the acquisition of Fulham youngster Harvey Elliott.

The 16-year-old, who holds the record for the Premier League's youngest player, rejected a new deal at Craven Cottage and was in the stands to watch Liverpool's 6-0 friendly win at Tranmere on Thursday.

He cannot, however, sign a professional contract until he turns 17 next April and a compensation fee is to be decided by a tribunal.

Nations League participants Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold return to pre-season training on Saturday, with Scotland captain Andy Robertson set to join them over the weekend, although none will feature at Bradford.

Striker Brewster, has been told by Klopp he has an important role to play this season.

He has been lined up to fill the boots vacated by Daniel Sturridge as the team's third-choice centre-forward after Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi, who has just signed a new contract.

Developing

However, Klopp wants the player to start developing his all-round game.

"I love the boy, he is fantastic player, but one of the goals I would have scored," said Klopp.

"We knew Rhian was a good player before. Why should I play it down? I just don't want to talk after a game about the guy who scored two goals.

"I saw a really good game and Rhian is a fantastic player.

"One hundred per cent [it is a big season] but it depends on him as well. Divock Origi stays which is good news, Bobby Firmino is still there.

"Rhian Brewster is a top striker, and I have told him already that he has an important role this year but how important depends on him.

"He has to play different positions as well - the centre, wing is possible I think, we will see how we line up, but there will be opportunities for him."

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