Sheffield United: Former Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster responds to reports he wanted to leave Bramall Lane
Rhian Brewster last night addressed claims he considered submitting a transfer request earlier this season, insisting it has never crossed his mind to leave Sheffield United.
Despite scoring twice in three outings ahead of today’s game at Cardiff City, the 21-year-old endured a torrid start to life in South Yorkshire after completing a £23.5m move from Liverpool 14 months ago.
Having gone 31 games without a goal, Brewster finally broke his duck during a Carabao Cup tie against Carlisle in August before opening his Championship account for United eight appearances later.
Nottingham Forest, now managed by former Swansea City chief Steve Cooper, recently expressed an interest in signing the centre-forward after he impressed on loan at the Liberty Stadium before joining United.
But speaking ahead of this afternoon’s visit to the Welsh capital, Brewster said: “I don’t think about it, transfers.I’m being totally honest, that’s the truth. I’ve never thought about it once.
“I can’t change what people say or what people paid for me. Really, all I’ve ever done is concentrate on trying to get into the team.
“I just totally switch out from all of the other stuff. I work hard and then go home and get on the Playstation. All I’ve ever done is give everything in training and then wait for my opportunity.”
Brewster became the most expensive purchase in United’s history when he crossed the Pennines at the beginning of last season. But with Chris Wilder departing before they were relegated from the Premier League, when his relationship with United’s board became irreparably damaged, Brewster then found himself operating on the wing when Slavisa Jokanovic took charge in July.
Despite acknowledging the Serb was simply trying to shoehorn him into the starting eleven, Brewster stressed he has always “seen myself as a striker” after finding the back of the net during Sunday’s win over Bristol City.
Paul Heckingbottom, who stepped into the breach on an interim basis following Wilder’s exit, was handed the job on a permanent basis last month when Jokanovic was sacked following a series of indifferent results and disagreements with United’s hierarchy.
Having installed Jack Lester as head of player development, Heckingbottom has tasked the former United and Nottingham Forest marksman with getting the best out of the attackers at his disposal.
“There’s a lot more finishing drills now,” Brewster said, stressing he had no issue with either Jokanovic’s work on the training pitch or selection policy. “There’s a focus on watching clips, seeing the in’s and out’s, and also doing one to one work and crossing.
“As a striker, you might only get one chance in a game and you’ve got to be ready to take it.”
United climbed to 13th in the table after beating Nigel Pearson’s side, and Brewster said: “There’s so much football to be played this season and we’re only seven points off (the play-offs) so of course it’s still possible. Definitely.
“Our target is to go up and then get back into the Premier League, no doubt about it.”