Ex-Sheffield United forward Carl Asaba believes Rhian Brewster will still be a hit at Bramall Lane in the future because of his desire, commitment to the cause and heavy involvement in England’s youth setup, speaking in an interview with The Star.
21-year-old Brewster has endured an extremely tough time in South Yorkshire since his permanent move from Liverpool in October, arriving at United last October in a record £23.5m deal.
Despite his promise, appearing in several different age groups for the Three Lions in recent years and being touted as one of the country’s most promising youngsters, he has struggled to adapt to life in Sheffield and has scored just one goal in 38 competitive appearances for the club thus far.
Only a true expert on Sheffield United will get these 27 Blades’ quiz questions correct
This is a far cry from his 11 goals in 22 appearances for Swansea City during the second half of the 2019/20 campaign, playing a crucial part in guiding the Welsh side to the play-offs before their semi-final defeat against Brentford.
That run of form earned him his move to then-Premier League outfit Sheffield United, who had finished in an impressive ninth place during 2019/20 but struggled slightly in the latter stages of the campaign after the Covid-19 restart.
Unfortunately, the slide only continued as they finished bottom of the table last term, summing up Brewster’s campaign as he failed to get on the scoresheet in 27 top-flight displays.
Despite breaking his Blades’ duck in the League Cup against Carlisle United in August, he has failed to get going this season too and has been an unused substitute in Slavisa Jokanovic’s side’s last three games.
Carl Asaba, who played for the Blades between 2001 and 2003, is one man who’s backing the England youth international to turn things around at Bramall Lane, saying to the Sheffield Star: “He (Brewster) puts it all in and, even when he’s been asked to go out wide, he gives everything. He just tries to do his job.
“Seriously, if we stick with him then in two or three years time I think everyone is going to be mighty glad we did.
“Rhian was put out wide for that (Hull City) game and what I loved about his display was, even given the situation he’s in, even though he’ll be desperate to score goals, he showed huge desire to track back and help out.
“Listen, I don’t care what anyone says, you don’t play for your country or get taken on by clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea if you don’t have serious ability.
“You can’t con so many managers at different levels for England. Rhian is clearly a player.
“All he’s got to do is stick with it, keep putting it all in so the fans stay right behind him, encouraging him to do well, and it will happen. No doubt about it in my mind.”
Rhian Brewster is a man who desperately needs a goal more than anything else right now.
Although he did manage to get one in August, he needs his first Championship goal for the Blades to break down the mental barrier that has almost formed in front of his eyes amid this league drought.
In fairness, you have to say the £23.5m price tag is a huge amount of expectation to carry on his shoulders considering the fact he’s only 21, but he needs to try and forget that if he hasn’t already and force his way back into Slavisa Jokanovic’s plans.
Once he manages to score a few goals in quick succession, he will be well on his way to a more successful career in South Yorkshire and his mini-spell at Swansea City should give him the belief that he can go on and do this.
Getting past Billy Sharp in the pecking order will be a tall order with the likes of Oli McBurnie, Lys Mousset and David McGoldrick as other options, but this and Jokanovic’s decision to opt with one man up top is just something he will need to deal with.
Thankfully, he has the chance with the England Under-21s to build some momentum, because he will need as much game time as he can get if he wants to get into the form he’s shown previously.