Our latest feature from the Liverpoolfc.com archives tells the tale of Roy Evans' attempt to sign an Argentinian icon during his time in the Anfield dugout.
In September 2013, the ex-Reds boss shared his memories of an audacious effort to recruit the legendary Gabriel Batistuta...
Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans has revealed how he attempted to pair one of the most prolific strikers in world football with Robbie Fowler for the Reds during the mid-1990s.
Gabriel Batistuta notched more than 200 goals in Italian football for Fiorentina, Roma and Inter Milan, scaring defences across the continent with his lethal finishing via left foot, right foot or head.
The Argentinian appeared at three World Cups and struck 10 times on the biggest stage before concluding his international career with 56 goals from 78 matches.
Now it has emerged that the man nicknamed 'Batigol' had a genuine opportunity to take a diversion to Anfield midway through his successful spell in Serie A.
"There were talks of him moving from Italy to somewhere else," Evans told Liverpoolfc.com.
"We had an interest; there were some conversations between Liverpool and his club. He was interested, but unfortunately it just didn't happen.
"It was one of those things where you make an enquiry and it just didn't go any further than that. I'm sure he would have been a great acquisition for us if we had got him."
With Fowler breaking the 30-goal barrier for Liverpool in three consecutive seasons under Evans between 1994 and 1997, the Reds were regularly in contention for the Premier League title.
Asked if the addition of a player with Batistuta's pedigree could have made the difference for his ambitious young team, Evans was philosophical in his response.
He added: "We'll never know. When you're the manager you always want other players because you're worried about loss of form and injuries.
"You're always looking to enhance your squad. Maybe it would have done, maybe it wouldn't. We also went in for the likes of Teddy Sheringham at that time.
"Teddy was very interested in coming; he was 29 or 30 at the time. But the club had a policy of not buying older players. As it happened, he went to Manchester United and played for six or seven years there with great success.
"Sometimes you miss out on things. I think he would have brought some good experience to a lot of young lads. We had some experience with John Barnes and Ian Rush, but Teddy Sheringham would have been another experienced player for us.
"You're always looking for players and asking different things. At Liverpool in those days, you did all of your business more or less behind closed doors. None of it was leaked to the press.
"Nowadays, with the 24/7 press it's a lot more difficult for the manager to do it. You enquire about many players.
"When Marcel Desailly was moving, we tried to buy him. The only thing that stopped us was that he wanted to live in London - that was his biggest thing.
"I think he was interested in the football club but it didn't happen. You win some and you lose some."
Ranging from simple text messages to help securing university places, Liverpool FC's Academy has exhaustive measures in place to support its former players.
Known as the 'alumni project', the scheme is designed to track and support those who have been part of the Kirkby set-up and departed in years gone by.
It has been led by Phil Roscoe for the past six months under his responsibility as head of player care.
The veteran Academy staffer has studied ways alumni programmes work at American high schools and colleges to help put first-class structures in place regarding the prosperity of ex-Liverpool youngsters.
He explained to Liverpoolfc.com: "There's a common feeling around the Academy – that goes from Alex [Inglethorpe] at the very top right through all the staff – that these players come on a really great journey with us through the Academy both on and off the field.
"Hopefully they leave the Academy and then go to the first team at Liverpool, or if not that then they go to a first team at another club.
"But no matter how successful they are, they will at some point leave. That's when we have a duty of care from our side to continue helping – it's never been done to simply tick a box.
"They're with us for so many years and go through so many experiences and we're there to help them whenever they're at Liverpool.
"We feel it's right that we do that when they leave as well."
Photo: Kenny Dalglish, Steve Heighway, Alex Inglethorpe, Phil Roscoe and Academy secretary Nick Clarke
The Academy now possesses an extensive database that allows them to keep in contact with those who have left. An alumni newsletter is also distributed to past players and parents detailing the latest developments and how to make use of the support on offer.
When a player does leave, the Academy and all relevant staff have an 'exit strategy' laid out to aid individuals with the next stage of their life – whether that is continuing in football or pursuing another profession. Either way, wide-ranging resources and contacts can be tapped into.
"It's not a tick-box exercise at Liverpool," Roscoe again stressed. "We are absolutely driven to make sure that if he wants to be a footballer, we're going to exhaust every avenue possible to make sure that we can try to make that happen – whether that be in this country or another country.
"If it doesn't happen from a football perspective then we'll exhaust everything we've got available to maybe then look to find something to do with higher education – a scholarship in America – and looking at what another career looks like."
How the programme shines is highlighted by two examples that Roscoe has been working with this past week since making contact.
The first is a player that left the Academy set-up around five years ago and reached out, expressing a desire to get into coaching. He'll now soon be taking his UEFA B coaching course.
The other is the tale of a boy released at U16 level three years ago.
He subsequently moved to a Football League club on a scholarship but that, unfortunately, isn't going to lead to a professional contract. "We're currently helping manage the process of getting him into one of the top universities in England to continue his academic journey there," Roscoe revealed.
"They're things that go on all the time – coming back, seeking advice, seeking help, sometimes just coming in to say hello and touching base."
In turn, the Academy can use the experiences of its former prospects to improve the careers and lives of those on the books now.
Roscoe continued: "We do studies where we've reached out to the alumni to seek, 'How was your experience? How can we get better as a club?'
"That's not just a player who left last year. That's players that left 10, 15 years ago. We use that information to input that back into the current programme.
"We speak a lot to the players at 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 around grasping the opportunity and giving absolutely everything you can to be a player.
"I've worked with quite a few players over the years that probably didn't grasp that opportunity as fully as they should, and they realise that when they're in their 20s.
"There's nothing more powerful than having a player who didn't quite utilise everything to come in and speak with the players, speak with parents, 'Look, this what I found on reflection, this is what I should have done.'"
This type of support has always been available for former players of the Academy, albeit on an informal basis through individual members of staff.
A change in Premier League academy rules, however, paved the way for a more formal implementation.
Roscoe was head of education and welfare for more than a decade before the role split. He is now solely focused on player care, with the alumni project just one aspect of the role, while Caitlin Hawkins has taken charge of education.
"Why would you have a boy come all the way through the programme, then leave and then not want to carry on helping him?" Roscoe said. "It's always been a passion of mine.
"We're very lucky at Liverpool that from Alex, the Academy director, all the way down, we have fantastic staff who feel the same way. I cannot emphasise enough that this is how it works at this club.
"Everyone will leave Liverpool at some point. Hopefully it's after 10, 15 long illustrious years with the first team but if it's not, they will leave and they will never walk alone, there will always be help there.
"I think that when a player leaves Liverpool, it should be as positive an experience for them as it was when they joined – meaning that they have the support, they have the advice and they have the avenues to go down should they need them.
"Those avenues might be used in the first week, they might be utilised after three or four years – but they're always there for them. Long may this continue."
Liverpool have had a host of hits and misses with their away kits throughout the years, but here we look at the best and ask you to cast your vote as to which takes the crown.
The unveiling of kits is an annual affair in modern-day football, with advertising campaigns and kit launches for three different variations now the norm.
We even are privy to ‘leaked’ images and quickly form an opinion of whether it is a hit or a miss, with glimpses at the first season under Nike already provoking mixed reactions.
New Balance, Warrior, Adidas, Reebok and Umbro have all tried their hand at being responsible for Liverpool’s kits, with vast degrees of success – with particular colour choices and ‘unique’ designs earning either mass applause or raising more than a few eyebrows.
The nostalgia that comes with success or particular players can sway one’s opinion and here, in no particular order, we take a look back at the best away kits to grace the field for Liverpool over the last few decades.1989-91
Talk about iconic. Both the home and away kit in the 18th title-winning season were ones you would be more than happy for Nike to use as inspiration in the years to come.
The kit is timeless and Candy was just made to adorn the front of the shirt. The feel-good factor just radiates from it every time you see it.1995/96
This one tends to fall into the category of you either love it or you hate it, and looking beyond Fowler’s questionable hair, to some it is considered an underrated gem.1998/99
The block of red from the shoulder to the forearm, with the long sleeve, is something to behold and the fact it was used as the away kit in 1998/99 and then as the third kit the season after says all you need to know.
Clean lines, Carlsberg and a red emblazoned crest – what more could you want?1981/82
The Reds have had yellow away kits since 1966 but this one is an all-time classic piece and its design, which was also present on the home kit, inspired the 2019/20 home shirt.2008/09
Kits are often looked back fondly less for the actual design and more for what the Reds did while wearing it.
This grey kit conjured memories of the classic 1988, but Liverpool were struggling to sell it until Benitez’s side smashed Man United 4-1 at Old Trafford while wearing it and the sales went through the roof thereafter.1996/97
Simply stunning. The off-white, cream colour, or ‘ecru kit’ is second to none, as is the trim and the Liverpool badge which is encased in all red.
The simplicity of it is what makes it appear unique and eye-catching and in Reebok’s first season as manufacturers, they hit a home run.1997/98
The eye-catching kits from Reebok rumbled on in 1997/98, with the yellow-and-red away offering another hit.
It’s a tried and tested formula which, aside from Warrior’s recent effort, always proves popular and this one was retained as the third strip for the following season.1980, 1985, 2015
Manufacturer: Umbro, Adidas, New Balance
White has been an ever-present colour for the Reds since the clubs inception in 1892 and these three are top of the pile – clean, simple and a red collar. Perfect.2000/01
The combination of yellow and navy is easy on the eye and immediately conjures up images of Michael Owen in Cardiff.2017/18
Manufacturer: New Balance
This was one of a handful of bright, or toxic colours as New Balance labelled them, which have largely defined their stint as Liverpool’s manufacturers.
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian reveals his Top Five things to do at home in the latest edition of our series, presented by Acronis.
In the short video, the Spaniard shares his recommendations for entertainment and education as people spend more time inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Find out the new hobby Adrian has taken up, the TV show he highly recommends, which teammate's book he is reading, and more...
Liverpool could have been under very different leadership, it has emerged, while our Bundesliga representatives are gearing up for a return to action.City owners tried to buy Liverpool first
The finance broker responsible for Man City‘s takeover by the Abu Dhabi family has suggested that the same group were originally intent on buying Liverpool.
A conversation with Graeme Souness revealed the attempts, made before current owners FSG came on the scene, but former owners Hicks and Gillett proved too “difficult to deal with”.
While some might wonder what might have been in terms of spending, trophies and investment over the past few years, it’s worth taking a step back.
Liverpool have, albeit over a longer period of time, gone on to achieve the sort of success City fast-tracked their way to—but sound business approaches and brilliant recruitment means it should be more sustainable.
City, meanwhile, are facing a ban from European football and have suffered plenty of probing of their financial dealings.Klopp and Co. want four weeks of training
Managers in the Premier League want a full month of training before matches have to be played, according to the Athletic‘s David Ornstein.
Ornstein said Klopp “sounded reassured on areas such as COVID-19 testing and keen to try and finish the season on grounds of sporting integrity,” while Jose Mourinho, Ralph Hassenhutl and Roy Hodgson are all advocates of getting back to training as soon as possible.
A compromise of three weeks looks probable, to hit the hoped-for mid-June resumption of league action.Tussle with Europe’s elite (and Arsenal) for Szoboszlai
Liverpool are one of several teams hoping to sign Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Salzburg this summer, according to reports out of Italy.
The Hungarian midfielder has impressed in Austria and in the Champions League, albeit not as a guaranteed starter every week, and is already a senior international at just 19.
The Reds, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and AC Milan are all hoping to sign him on a reasonably low-cost deal this summer, with a high upside and resale value the draw for several of those sides.
We came up against him in the group stage, of course, as a team-mate of new signing Takumi Minamino.German Reds
It was the French revolution at Anfield under Houllier. Then we had the Rafalution and all the Spanish flavour that came with it. Now, Jurgen Klopp‘s German stamp on the club can be seen from all quarters.Leagues restart latest update
The UK Government has released a ‘return to elite sports’ proposal, giving guidance as to how each phase will be implemented. Step one is available to view now.
Police chiefs apparently remain “fearful” of mass gatherings of fans outside Premier League stadiums, despite there being little evidence or reason to think it will happen given the number of people willingly following government advice so far.
Serie A are aiming for a restart on 13 June, pending government approval in Italy. There are 12 rounds still to play and teams can train collectively from Monday.Quickfire LFC news
We all accept there will be big changes in the football world. But some of the people responsible for generating ideas need to have a second thought before writing down their bright suggestions.
“Turning their face away” when getting tackled, or recovering from the tackle, isn’t going to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It might well end up in a few more players in hospital, though, with mis-timed challenges or sudden, uncontrolled changes of direction.Tweet of the day
Re-live the Steve Gerrard cup final, why not!
SAVED!! Reina saves Ferdinand’s penalty! We’ve done it!
The Reds have won the 2006 FA Cup! ? pic.twitter.com/7WGmzfCKsO
— Liverpool FC (at ?) (@LFC) May 13, 2020What we’re reading
An intriguing piece on Bundesliga.com, detailing Jadon Sancho ‘following the footsteps’ of former Reds great Kevin Keegan.
Liverpool FC will be offering its support to Tranmere Rovers' ongoing community response initiatives by assisting residents in Wirral during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the Reds’ Unity is Strength community response to the crisis, a team of LFC staff volunteers is providing support to Tranmere’s own community response initiatives, working together to help those in need.
LFC staff volunteers will join Rovers volunteers in distributing leaflets to thousands of residents outlining what support is in place for those in need. These will help to raise awareness of their support initiatives among people who perhaps do not have access to the internet or social media.
Alongside this, they will be offering a helping hand in preparing and delivering meals and food parcels to residents in the area. LFC has seconded one of its professional chefs usually based at Anfield to Tranmere for one day a week to help their team to produce meals for the most vulnerable people in the local community.
The League One club (along with its partner charity, HelpLink) is also running a befriending service, which will be supplemented by LFC staff volunteers, to make befriending phone calls to older and vulnerable people who may be isolated, worried and lonely during this challenging time.
Nicola Palios, Tranmere’s vice-chairman, said: “At a time of crisis it is great to see any football rivalries being put aside, and two Merseyside clubs working together to help our communities.
“When the COVID-19 lockdown was announced, Tranmere and HelpLink quickly established a scheme to support the elderly and vulnerable in Wirral, and we are delighted that Liverpool FC are able to offer us some additional resources for that initiative, as demand for our support is increasing daily.”
Matt Parish, director of LFC Foundation, said: “We are proud to be working alongside Tranmere Rovers FC to support their local community response work.
“It’s so important that we unite during these difficult times to help each other and support as many people as we can in our local communities.”
To help spread the word and raise awareness of the support that is available, a poster has been created that is available to download and print by clicking here, which residents can post through the letterboxes of neighbours or, with permission, pin to the wall of local shops in the area that are open.
Tranmere Rovers is urging anyone who would like to become a volunteer to provide phone and shopping support to email email@example.com for an application form.
Graeme Souness has recalled a conversation in which it was revealed that the Man City owners “tried and tried” to buy Liverpool in 2008, only to be frustrated.
Sheikh Mansour acquired Man City in 2008, as part of the Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG), and has since ploughed vast sums of money into the club to secure four Premier League titles among other domestic honours.
His ownership has seen City transformed, having finished ninth in the Premier League the season before he took over, with Elano their top scorer with 10 goals in all competitions.
At the same time, Liverpool were in the throes of the troubled ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, which would eventually force Rafa Benitez from the club and raise the threat of administration.
The reign of Hicks and Gillett ended in 2010, with Fenway Sports Group buying the club, and since then fortunes have improved drastically, with the Reds now European and world champions, and six points from winning the title under Jurgen Klopp‘s management.
But it could have been much different, as Souness recounted a meeting with Amanda Staveley in Dubai during Hicks and Gillett’s run as owners, in which she claimed Mansour’s father-in-law Sheikh Mohammed had “tried and tried” to broker a deal to acquire Liverpool.
“She introduced herself as Amanda and said she was a Liverpool supporter,” he explained on Sky Sports’ The Football Show.
“During the conversation, she said ‘I’m responsible for taking the Abu Dhabi family to Man City‘.
“I said, ‘five minutes ago you said you were a Liverpool supporter, why did you not take them to Liverpool?’.
“She said, ‘I tried and I tried but Gillett and Hicks were so difficult to deal with they just walked away in the end’.”
It is well-known that Staveley was involved in negotiations over a possible takeover of Liverpool by Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Capital (DIC), and how frustrating talks with Hicks and Gillett proved.
But Souness’ retelling serves as a reminder of what could have been for English football, as if DIC were successful it is unlikely Mansour and ADUG would have invested in City.
City’s spending since then has been consistently exorbitant, which has played a big role in warping the transfer market across Europe.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have operated within their means while still negotiating big-money deals for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita in recent years, and have now overtaken City at the top of the Premier League.
There have also been vast improvements off the pitch, such as with the redevelopment of Anfield’s Main Stand—which should soon be followed by the Anfield Road end—and the £50 million training facility at Kirkby.
Authenticity cannot be manufactured, and while City still struggle for an identity beyond ‘oil-rich and banned from Europe’, Liverpool have largely been able to maintain their ethos under FSG.
So though Staveley “tried and tried,” it can be considered a blessing that the Reds were left to do things the right way.
Liverpool FC staff volunteers have been working alongside the club’s community programme, Red Neighbours, and its official charity, LFC Foundation, to help local people throughout the city during the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the ‘Unity is Strength’ project, staff from across the club have volunteered their time to help a range of initiatives, including the North Liverpool Foodbank, the club’s LFC Connect programme, and delivering treats and welfare packages to key workers and those in need.
LFC Connect calls take place on weekdays between 9am and 4pm, offering a friendly chat to help reduce feelings of isolation among those most vulnerable within the local community.
Bev Phillips, fan services specialist, felt compelled to help in some way as soon as the nationwide lockdown was announced in March.
“I registered straight away for the staff volunteering scheme as I just wanted to do my bit to help others during this tough time,” said Bev.
“When the LFC Connect service was launched I knew that was something I really wanted to be involved in.
“It’s benefited so many people already. Some of the people I’ve spoken to, they have no family close to them, so just knowing we will be calling them every week makes such a huge difference. It brightens their day, lets them know that people do care and they are not completely alone during this time. A small act of kindness can make such a big difference to someone else’s day.”
As someone who is also spending lockdown alone, Bev credits the volunteering scheme with helping her own mental wellbeing as well as those she has spoken to through the programme.
She added: “I’m self-isolating on my own, so the interaction has really benefited me as well. Just something as simple as having a conversation with someone not only gives them a lift but also adds a lot of positivity to your own day.”
Alongside making calls with LFC Connect, Bev has also volunteered at the North Liverpool Foodbank, helping to ensure it can continue its vital service during the lockdown by unloading food deliveries and packing three-day emergency food parcels for those in need.
LFC staff volunteers attend the foodbank in two-hour time slots from Monday to Friday and follow strict protection guidelines to ensure their safety and the safety of others, including social distancing, wearing personal protective equipment and regular hand washing/sanitising.
The central foodbank hub, which has been turned into the city’s main food storage venue, was also sprayed with sanitiser by infection control specialists in advance of the volunteering beginning.
Bev said: “The foodbanks have been massively affected by the lockdown and the absence of football matches, so again it was something I felt really strongly about getting involved in.
“It’s been so nice to see people from across the city working for the greater good and helping those less fortunate. It’s saddening to know these services need to exist, but at the same time it’s been inspiring to see so many people give up their time to help others.”
The LFC Connect initiative is open to anyone in the areas of north Liverpool and Kirkby and supporters interested in signing up can do so by contacting Christine Mounsey from the Red Neighbours team on 07701 320 455.
Alternatively, those who wish to email rather than chat on the phone can access the service by contacting RedNeighbours@liverpoolfc.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liverpool are reportedly preparing another transfer raid on Red Bull Salzburg, this time for highly-rated midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.
The 19-year-old has consistently been linked with a switch to the Premier League, with Arsenal regarded as long-time admirers of Szoboszlai.
Arsenal have seen their transfer budget slashed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the talented Szoboszlai might be picked up for just £26million in the next window.
Full story: Metro
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Last Updated: 13/05/20 10:36pm
Rhian Brewster is set to be a future star in English football after impressing for Swansea during a loan spell from Liverpool.
Here, Sky Sports' EFL pundits Keith Andrews and Don Goodman assess the 20-year-old's attributes and tell us why he is such a special talent...13:17 Sky Sports assesses Rhian Brewster and explains why the striker on loan at Swansea from Liverpool is set to be a star of the future in English football Sky Sports assesses Rhian Brewster and explains why the striker on loan at Swansea from Liverpool is set to be a star of the future in English football What is it about him that makes him so highly-rated?
Andrews: I was involved with the Irish under-age teams and we played the England team in the quarter-finals of the 2017 European Championships. What I noticed from watching him in the games in the build-up to that was that he was very patient as a centre forward. There wasn't a real eagerness to come and get involved in general build-up play, he allowed the very good players to dictate possession and would wait for that service to come. I think we would've seen more of this fellow but for the injury he sustained, which has probably held him back a good six to 12 months. Bearing in mind he's just turned 20 puts it into perspective.
I think he's a natural goalscorer but I think you've got to judge him on the games he's played so far. We can't get too far ahead of ourselves but in the games he's played, the steps he's taken at international level against top opposition, he's had no problem. He just looks very comfortable and with the composure that he shows in front of goal, he is lethal. His general build-up play maybe needs to be worked on but there's going to be aspects of every part of his game that slightly need to be worked on. The biggest thing he's got going for him is the fact that he's an instinctive finisher. He doesn't thrash at things, he's very composed and he has a knack for heading as well. He can't overpower 6ft2in centre-halves, he has to out-cute them. He has to get in-between areas and he does that very well.EFL Future Stars
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Goodman: He's got this explosive burst of pace and he seems to have really good football intelligence, so his movement is very clever and, when I watch clips of him finishing, there's such a variety. I had a real good chat to Steve Cooper about him and the work ethic, he said, is right up there as one of his best attributes and that comes down to mentality. He's likeable, he's got a big heart and he's a bit of a joker, apparently. All the things that make you popular in the dressing room. He also said that he's confident in his own ability but without being too far because when that goes too far, it turns into arrogance.
When you think about that at the end of the day, in this period of his career it's really important that we and everybody surrounding the player don't run ahead of themselves because you are never, ever the finished article. You are always improving. There are things that Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero can probably do better. That mentality that we've been led to believe he's got will stand him in good stead because he strikes me as one of those lads that's going to want to go into training, work hard every day and try and get better. If you can do that, the world's your oyster.Is Steve Cooper the perfect manager for him to develop under?
Andrews: That's an important point. Nowadays there's real due diligence that goes into trying to pick the right club for the individual player. I would imagine the very top teams in the Championship were chomping at the big to get him in and maybe he wouldn't have been an automatic starter but he could've gone to a team vying for automatic promotion. A little bit down the league, less pressure to a degree - outside chance of play-offs but I don't think, personally, they would have got there - but the style of play, the familiarity of a coaching team that he knows, he trusts, the feel of the dressing room. I think these are all important components of how you settle into first team life. I thought it was a very clever move by Liverpool.At home with... Championship stars
Sky Sports joins some of the biggest names in the Championship at home... including Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Derby.
Goodman: Absolutely. Jurgen Klopp didn't just let him go to any old club, he looked at where he'd get the best education and - very importantly - where he would get regular first-team football. There were lots and lots of Championship clubs in so there were choices for Klopp and Brewster but the fact they had that relationship from the England days, Swansea City's style of play that they adopt, I think certainly helped them decide that Swansea was going to be a very good education ground for him. I think that familiarity just allowed him to hit the ground running. It didn't take him any time whatsoever to settle in. He knew the coaches, he knew Cooper's methods and he's got off to a flying start because of that.Do you think he's ready to step up into first team contention at Liverpool?
Andrews: I think it depends on Jurgen Klopp's belief in him and how much game time he's going to get. If he's going to get enough minutes, he should stay. It's as simple as that, for me. One thing I would throw into that equation is that front three that Liverpool play. Roberto Firmino is not a natural centre forward; if he wanted to go with a natural-type centre forward then this lad fits the bill very well. I'm led to believe they do have a lot of belief in him, that he can go onto bigger and better things, but I just think it comes down to that. Can they guarantee him enough experience? They don't want him stagnating. He had glimpses in the Carabao Cup, played well and was getting experience through that but he needs to play football.
This little stint that he's had at Swansea is going to be priceless. Going to a fresh environment, a different dressing room, hearing different voices and having to play for three points on a Saturday afternoon, which isn't the case in U23s football. I think it very much comes down to that. Enough game time at Liverpool next season then he stays and becomes part of it. I'm talking 20 appearances as a rough gauge. If it's going to be less than that then I'd get him away to get 40-50 games under his belt at Championship level, keep him at Swansea for another year.
I look at the periphery players of that front three and the options that they have. The likes of Divock Origi - I know he's scored hugely important goals for Liverpool - and Xherdan Shaqiri don't quite fit into it, for me, and Adam Lallana will probably move on when his contract runs out. I genuinely think there's a space in there for him, and with the way he's going, Jurgen Klopp is showing that he will introduce young players, Trent Alexander-Arnold being a prime example. This year, with the Carabao Cup, and the way it's been enforced that they've had a few opportunities to play in that competition, he'll have seen certain things from players that he likes and he'll have earmarked for next season to shape the squad in a different way. I wouldn't be surprised if Brewster is part of that squad.Championship awards of the season so far
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Goodman: I think this is an important stage of his development. You're talking about Liverpool, so you are talking about the champions-elect of the Premier League, champions of Europe - you are talking about one of the best teams in the world and you are talking about the plethora of talent they have at their disposal. They are constantly linked with Timo Werner, who is a terrific player. Yes, he's a talented young man but I personally think that another season in the Championship - probably with Swansea who play a style that suits him where he's already familiar - would do him good. If he stays at Swansea and can maybe pick up 15-20 Championship goals next season, I think that would be the best plan for him.
The biggest commodity of all to be a top player is the brain and he appears to have this mental strength. We know he's technically brilliant, he's a goalscorer and we know he's got a great work ethic but this is a key factor. Talking to Cooper and listening to the things he has to say, he believes that one day he'll be a top player. Whether that's with Liverpool or not, who knows, but he's got all the attributes and I don't see any reason that he won't go on and have a top career.Join Sky Bet Club and track your progress towards a £5 free Bet
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