This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It’s fair to say that Rhian Brewster has had a rough time of it since joining Sheffield United.
The striker was a big-money signing from Liverpool last summer, arriving for a club record fee of £23.5m.
But Brewster has since scored one goal in only 38 games for United. He failed to score in the Premier League and is yet to get off the mark in the Championship, with his only goal coming against Carlisle United in the League Cup.
After being sent off for England Under-21s’ in midweek, Jokanovic said in today’s pre-match press conference via Yorkshire Live: “He is one of the most talented English players, but he needs to grow up more.
“You ask about the strikers earlier, we are trying to find a balance and we play him number 10 or a winger. They are all looking to be on the pitch.
“He needs to find the capacity to adapt to a different role and we can see what type of progress we can make.”
Brewster was linked with an exit during the summer, with The Sun reporting that the Blades were open to a sale if the price was right.
Is time running out for him to impress at Bramall Lane? We discuss…
Considering he only joined a year ago and still has four more left on his contract at Bramall Lane, he is likely to remain there for at least the next couple of years as they try to get a tune out of their record signing.
However, a loan deal at this point could be beneficial for the 21-year-old who was struggled since arriving in South Yorkshire and could probably benefit from playing elsewhere to kickstart his career, because it’s clear he has the potential to go on and be a success for the Blades.
The presence of the likes of Lys Mousset and Billy Sharp are proving to be a barrier though, and he needs to be playing regularly at this stage of his career if he wants to fulfil his potential.
A loan deal to the Championship seems unlikely whilst the Blades are there, just in case he springs into life at a loan club at the detriment of Slavisa Jokanovic’s men, but a temporary spell abroad could easily be on the horizon for him if he fails to pick up his form between now and January.
Sheffield United paid a lot of money for Rhian Brewster, so they will need to be 100% sure before a decision is made about his future with The Blades.
Ultimately, he has struggled to make any sort of impact at Bramall Lane thus far, however, he is a young player who is still learning his trade, and for that reason, I think he still has time on his side.
Brewster operates at his best as a striker, and whilst he has been trusted in wing roles this season, he needs to be playing as a forward if he is going to progress.
Perhaps a loan move away from the club may be the next best option. With Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick returning from injury, it seems that he is dropping down the pecking order.
Brewster is a player who is low on confidence at the moment, and a spell away from the club could help revitalise his time in Yorkshire.
As hard as he is finding things at the moment, you cannot rule out the possibility of him hitting form and emerging as an important figure with The Blades.
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It is clear that Jokanovic is not Brewster’s biggest fan and that could spell the end of his time at Bramall Lane for the time being. The Blades would struggle to recoup the transfer fee they spent on his signature from Liverpool if he does not get going in the Championship this season.
Therefore, with Brewster’s contract running until the summer of 2025 a loan move would probably be more likely. It is a tricky position to be in for the club, it clearly has not been a good fit for the player.
I cannot see a permanent exit due to his contract situation and Blades looking to manage their asset. A loan move to League One could revitalise Brewster’s goalscoring form and see him return to Bramall Lane in a much better mental state than he is currently in.