Monday 21 October 2019

Kelleher and Brewster lead young Reds vying for starts

Rhian Brewster has been described by Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders as a “complete striker” ahead of a potential senior debut in the Carabao Cup tonight (stock photo)
Rhian Brewster has been described by Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders as a “complete striker” ahead of a potential senior debut in the Carabao Cup tonight (stock photo)

Jamie Holland

Rhian Brewster has been described by Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders as a "complete striker" ahead of a potential senior debut in the Carabao Cup tonight.

The Reds' starting line-up for the third-round tie at MK Dons is expected to feature a considerable number of changes from Sunday's 2-1 Premier League win at Chelsea, with Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher also in the mix to play from the off.

And there could be a long-awaited bow for Brewster, the 19-year-old who in 2017 helped England win an U-17s World Cup, at which he was the top-scorer with eight goals.

He was an unused substitute at Stamford Bridge, and Lijnders said of the England U-21 international yesterday: "I was his coach when he came from Chelsea (as a 15-year-old).

"That he is already on the bench away at Chelsea, for me, is massive. It makes us all proud. If he does start or doesn't start (tonight), he is a player who is every time more ready.

"He is a complete striker, a typical nine who can come first post, score with his head, turn in the box, play one-on-one, can score a scruffy goal as well, unbelievable shot. And a good boy. But let's see."

Other youngsters who could be given debuts by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp are 20-year-old Kelleher, and Harvey Elliott, the 16-year-old midfielder signed from Fulham over the summer who last season became the Premier League's youngest-ever player.

Meanwhile, Liverpool's kit supplier New Balance has started legal proceedings against the club amid reports linking the Reds with Nike.

The Merseysiders' current contract with New Balance comes to an end next summer and reports have suggested the club have been nearing a big-money deal with Nike.

MK Dons v Liverpool

Live, Sky Sports, 7.45

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