Sheffield United could turn to Huddersfield Town defender after record-breaking deal for Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster

Chris Wilder welcomes new signing Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageChris Wilder welcomes new signing Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder welcomes new signing Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Having signed a “natural goalscorer” who is “one of the country’s hottest properties” for another club record fee, Sheffield United will now turn their attentions to filling the gap left by Jack O’Connell’s injury – and could look to Huddersfield Town for a solution.

Yesterday the Blades announced the signing of forward Rhian Brewster from Liverpool after taking the plunge on terms Crystal Palace shied away from.

With a net transfer spend of around £120m and six club record signings since returning to the Premier League last summer, the Blades cannot be accused of not backing manager Chris Wilder but now he wants an eighth signing of the window.

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That Liverpool are understood to have demanded a three-year buy-back clause – a deal-breaker for the Eagles – shows how highly they rate 20-year-old Brewster, despite not adding to his four appearances for them once this season’s competitive football began.

Rhian Brewster is happy to join Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/SportimageRhian Brewster is happy to join Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Rhian Brewster is happy to join Sheffield United. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

But a five-year contract and £23.5m fee demonstrate the faith between the England Under-21 international and his new club.

“There were a few teams who came in but right now Sheffield United is the best option for me,” said Brewster. “Looking at the club, it is on the rise, finishing ninth last season and hopefully it can be better this season. Maybe I can add some goals, I’ll work hard and try and help the team to a higher place.”

Brewster, who joined Liverpool in 2015 after seven years in Chelsea’s youth system, has long been highly rated and a half-season-loan at Swansea City suggested it was with good reason.

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“It was good for me,” he said. “I felt I needed game-time, and I scored 11 goals in 22 (games in all competitions).

“I want to come in here and show what I can do, and score goals for Sheffield United. It is a team that creates a lot of chances, the three at the back, overlapping, they get crosses into the box and that’s my game – being in the box, finding space and one and two-touch finishes.”

The Blades have only scored once this season, and that in the League Cup. They are yet to pick up a point in three Premier League matches, although Wilder insists with some justification performances have been better than that suggests.

Keen to add pace to his forward line, he sees Brewster’s signing as a real coup.

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“We have one of the country’s hottest properties and for him to sign permanently here is fantastic,” he said. “He has been our No 1 target.

“He’s a talent, as are a lot of the younger players we have brought in, whether that’s Oli Burke, Max Lowe, Jayden Bogle or Aaron Ramsdale, they are the profiles of the players we wanted.

“He (Brewster) is a natural goalscorer, whether it is in the air or whether it’s spectacular goals, free-kicks or off his shin – he has a lovely habit of scoring goals.”

The Blades only scored 29 Premier League goals last season, prompting Wilder to add Oliver Burke and now Brewster.

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“It’s certainly a position I’ve looked at on reflection from last season and the chances we’ve created,” said Wilder. “It’s an area we have to improve, be more clinical.

“The players don’t really need a boost because they understand the situation as I do, they’re disappointed. They’re not jumping through hoops but certainly bringing a better player into the group will improve us and help us to get results.”

Wilder admitted Huddersfield outcast Terence Kongolo was one of those he has enquired about to replace left-sided centre-back O’Connell, ruled out for six months after knee surgery. The Netherlands international was frozen out by manager Danny Cowley in November and has not trained with the first team under his successor, Carlos Corberan, in anticipation of a move.

Fulham signed Kongolo on loan in January only for him to pick up a season-ending injury on his debut, but would like him back.

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“We enquired about Terence, we’ve enquired about a lot of left-footed centre-halves because of the injury to Jack,” said Wilder. “There’s three or four we’ve enquired about.

“I spoke to (Huddersfield’s head of football operations) Leigh Bromby about him.

“There’s always a lot of work in terms of identifying and talking, finding out if they’re available, if it’s a fee or a loan and what the wages are but there’s always players out there.

“Villa have got Ross Barkley, so there are always players people identify within the boundaries clubs can go to.

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“I appreciate the support I get off the owners but there’s always boundaries and we’re always pushing to get the best in terms of what we can afford.”

The Blades were tight-lipped last night about whether Brewster signed in time to debut at Arsenal tomorrow.

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