Sheffield United are set to face a pivotal decision in the January transfer window over the long-term future of forward Rhian Brewster as interest emerges from elsewhere.
It has been well documented now how difficult it has been for Brewster since he made the big-money move to Bramall Lane from Liverpool in the summer of 2020.
An underwhelming Premier League season has been followed up by him struggling to force his way into Slavisa Jokanovic’s side so far this campaign in the Championship.
To date, Brewster has managed to make just five starts and eight appearances in total for the Blades this season in the Championship. That comes despite them at times having been struggling for attacking creativity and it has seemed as though Jokanovic is yet to be fully convinced by his talents.
Having said that, Brewster did finally open his league account for the campaign for the Blades last time out as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers.
Football League World believes that Nottingham Forest are keen to potentially try and sort out a loan agreement with Sheffield United for Brewster in January as they aim to add extra firepower to their squad for the second half of the campaign.
That comes with Steve Cooper taking over as Nottingham Forest’s manager and being keen to reunite with Brewster after he got the best from him during his loan move to Swansea City in the 2019/20 season.
So, with Forest interested in Brewster, we examine whether the pros and cons to the Blades selling or keeping him in January…
It has already been reported recently by the Sheffield Star that the Blades’ ability to invest in their squad with some key signings in January potentially hinges upon them managing to raise transfer funds by selling off one or two players.
In that regard, Brewster still represents one of Sheffield United’s most sellable assets given that he is still only 21-years-old and he has a lot of room left to get his career back on the trajectory that it was on before his move to Bramall Lane.
Therefore, if Sheffield United did decide to sell Brewster in January, they should be able to recoup a decent fee for the forward. However, they would of course have to be prepared to take a hit on the transfer fee that they paid Liverpool for his services in the summer of 2020.
If Sheffield United could get a good fee for him and also get him off their wage bill then it could provide the funds for Jokanovic to bring in one or two quality players in January.
It is likely that those signings would have his full faith and could make much more of an impact than the 21-year-old has been able to make this term.
Having said that, Brewster is a player that you could still see progress in his career with a bit of time and a chance to re-gain his confidence. Therefore, the Blades could well regret it if they do cash in on him in January and he goes on to enjoy a good period of form with Forest or another side.
The benefit of keeping Brewster in the squad for Sheffield United is that there is still a chance that he could come good for them with his form this season.
The goal he scored against Blackburn Rovers last time out might finally be the kickstart for him to make the sort of impact it was hoped he would do when he was signed.
It should not be forgotten that Brewster scored 11 goals in 22 appearances for Swansea in the Championship in the second half of the 2019/20 season. That shows that if the Blades can get him going then there is the potential for him to add goals to their side.
Should Brewster get back towards a good level of form for Sheffield United then his valuation will start to head back towards the fee they paid for him last year. So, in terms of not taking a hit on him it could be wise to keep him for a little while longer to see if he improves.
However, the downside to keeping holding of him could be that Brewster only continues to depreciate as an asset. That means that if he does not start scoring or featuring regularly soon then the Blades would be able to command even less for him in the future than they could do in January.