Sheffield United striker Rhian Brewster has hinted that a run of games in the team may be needed if he wants to banish his goalscoring demons and get into form for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men this season, speaking in an interview with Yorkshire Live.
The 21-year-old arrived from former Premier League champions Liverpool last October in a £23.5m deal, breaking United’s transfer record as they looked to bolster their attack during last year’s summer transfer window.
Finishing in ninth place the previous season, they were hopeful of building on this top-half finish with another solid campaign in the Premier League.
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However, their 2020/21 season was anything but solid, failing to win any of their opening 17 league games of last term and finishing at the foot of the top-tier table.
Unfortunately for Brewster, this was symbolic of his season, failing to get on the scoresheet for the Blades in any of his 27 league appearances and not able to break his Sheffield United goal duck until this August.
This maiden strike came in the Carabao Cup against Carlisle United, although he has failed to carry this into the league, making a disappointing six Championship appearances so far this season and even finding himself left on the bench as an unused substitute in the Blades’ last three games.
He has since cited regular playing time as the key to his success at former loan side Swansea City, scoring 11 goals in 22 matches for the Welsh side during the latter stages of the 2019/20 season and playing a huge part in dragging them into the play-offs in a dramatic fashion.
Speaking to Yorkshire Live, the 21-year-old said: “I scored against Carlisle and scored for England, so hopefully that can push me on again.
“As a striker you need a run of games to get yourself going and hopefully if I could get a couple of goals in the league I can push on myself.
“Looking back at Swansea, playing quite a bit helped and getting a run of games helped.
“Scoring goals makes you confident and you do things you don’t think twice about doing.
“When you are not firing as much you think about the things you are doing more instead of doing it.”
With Lys Mousset returning for the last match against AFC Bournemouth, Brewster’s quest to displace Billy Sharp as the Blades’ main option up top has just got a lot harder and something he will need to get used to with the wealth of attacking options his side currently have.
Considering Slavisa Jokanovic only operates one up top, you could easily see someone like David McGoldrick leaving in January or one of Brewster, McBurnie or Mousset going out on loan to gain more first-team opportunities.
If the quartet were in scintillating form, they would be making the case for the Serbian to play two up front, but the former two’s underwhelming form over the past 12 months and the latter’s injuries have made it easy for the manager to start Billy Sharp.
In fairness, the 21-year-old’s versatility and ability to play on the wing should increase his chances of playing more first-team football with a lack of options in that position, but he needs goals more than anything else to boost his confidence and he would have the best chance of scoring if he operates as the South Yorkshire side’s main striker.
After receiving a red card on international duty for England’s Under-21s, Blades fans will be hoping a reported pep talk from manager Jokanovic will be the key to a major turnaround in his domestic form.