Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has admitted he thinks a lot of Sheffield United forward Rhian Brewster, but is firmly focused on developing his current players as a priority as he spoke to The Star.
The 21-year-old is currently on the radar of the East Midlands side according to the Daily Mirror (via Nottingham Forest News), who say they are expected to make a move for the England international in January after failing to find his feet at Bramall Lane.
Joining the Blades last October, Brewster has only scored one goal in 38 competitive appearances since his £23.5m move and has even been left out of the first-team squad completely on three different occasions, painting what could be a bleak future in South Yorkshire.
Quiz: Have each of these 24 ex-Nottingham Forest academy players ever played in the Premier League?
Thankfully for the forward, he started last night in their 1-1 draw at Forest, although he was unable to break his league duck and failed to make a big impression at the City Ground.
The last time Brewster shone in the Championship was for Swansea City during the 2019/20 campaign, shining under Cooper and scoring 11 goals in 22 games for the Welsh side.
This has increased speculation about a possible reunion between the duo when the winter window opens, although the Reds’ manager played down talks of a move despite not ruling out a possible deal.
He said to the Sheffield Star: “I think a lot of all of the lads I’ve worked with. I worked with Conor Hourihane, who is at Sheffield United now too, and he’s a really good lad as well like Rhian.
“But, to be honest, the only thing I want to focus on is those players who have been playing for me out there.”
If you had to deliver a prediction on whether Brewster will end up at the City Ground in January, a lot of people would be leaning towards saying no after seeing United manager Slavisa Jokanovic’s previous comments on being reluctant to let go of him.
As well as this, Jokanovic will see Nottingham Forest as a direct competitor for a late promotion charge considering the two team’s similar positions – and under Cooper – the Reds are only likely to get stronger.
If Brewster plays well at the City Ground on a potential loan spell, it may be good for the Blades in the long term, but it could be detrimental at the business end of this season if he gets into goalscoring form under Cooper again.
This is a real possibility considering how much he has been able to improve the performances of the likes of Ryan Yates and Jack Colback in midfield – and would benefit from playing as a striker as opposed to operating out wide.
Good performances are a bonus – but goals are a must for the forward at this stage in a bid to revive his career at Bramall Lane and going out on loan may be the only way he can do it.