The January transfer window brings the chance for Championship clubs to bolster their ranks ahead of the second half of the season. With so little to choose between many of the clubs in the top half of the table this season, it’s vital that teams are shrewd in bringing in new players to give them an edge when push comes to shove at the end of the campaign.
Swansea City, who were early frontrunners in the Championship this season but have since dropped down to sixth place, have acted by signing Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster on loan until the end of the current campaign. If the young striker can hit form then Swansea may be more highly fancied when it comes to the latest English Championship betting odds.
The 19-year-old has bags of talent and potential, has made a few first-team appearances for Liverpool this season, and this loan move offers the 19-year-old a chance to find his feet in senior football. It’s a good match for player and club, as Swansea were in need of forward reinforcements following Bournemouth’s decision to recall Sam Surridge from his loan spell at the Welsh club.
Although Swansea have maintained their position in the play-off spots, their form has been somewhat up and down in recent weeks. There have been some poor performances and results against their promotion rivals in the league – a 5-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion and a 3-1 reversal away at Brentford – while the club’s FA Cup campaign ended in humiliation with a 5-1 hammering by QPR in the third round.
Goals have been a concern for manager Steve Cooper in recent times as, excepting the 3-1 win over Middlesbrough, the Swans have struggled to score more than one goal per game over the last couple of months. It is hoped that the arrival of Brewster will give the team a bit more bite going forward, as the youngster is a naturally talented finisher with bags of pace to go with it.
There is also a connection between Cooper and Brewster from the coach’s days as England U-17 manager. The team famously won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017, a tournament in which Brewster won the Golden Boot with eight goals. It’s clear that Cooper knows how to get the best out of Brewster, but replicating that form in the competitive dog-fight that is the Championship will be another challenge.
“It helps when you know the head coach and have worked under him before,” Brewster said on linking up with Cooper once again. “Right now, this move is the best option for me. To work with him again at club level is going to be very different, but I’ve just got to work hard on the training pitch and, hopefully, get picked for the games and help the team by scoring goals.”
One thing Brewster brings with him is the winning mentality that Jürgen Klopp has instilled at Liverpool, a confidence that seems to have trickled down through all levels of the club’s players. We saw evidence of this in the Reds’ recent 1-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup, a game in which Klopp fielded a youthful line-up while Everton went full-strength.
Swansea will hope that this standard of success that Brewster brings with him will rub off on the rest of the squad. To gain promotion from the Championship requires momentum, and if Brewster can go on a scoring streak and get Swansea winning and scoring consistently once again, then a return to the Premier League may well be on the cards.