Sheffield United say Rhian Brewster's arrival from Liverpool is a sign of their ambition
Steve Bettis, Sheffield United’s chief executive, admitted that capturing Rhian Brewster had been manager Chris Wilder’s main objective of this summer’s transfer window after the England under-21 international completed his move to Bramall Lane from Liverpool.
Brewster, who becomes the most expensive player in United’s history, was officially unveiled at the Steelphalt Academy this evening having chosen Wilder’s team above the likes of Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa.
Although United’s negotiations with the reigning Premier League champions were protracted, largely due to the complexity of the deal which sees Brewster end his three year stay at Anfield, Bettis said: "From an attacking perspective, Rhian has been the management team's top target throughout the off season and the board is delighted to be able to deliver. It has taken time, the level of outlay is unprecedented here but we've finally got our man.
"Rhian fits in with the philosophy of the club signing young, hungry prospects that is giving us a good foundation for the future, strengthening the areas Chris and the recruitment team highlighted. The fact that we are doing business with the Premier League champions over one of their hottest prospects is a sign of how far we have progressed in a relatively short space of time.”
Brewster, aged 20, has been described as an exceptional talent by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after scoring 11 times in 22 appearances during a spell on loan with Swansea City last term. Capped eight times by England at under-21 level, he also won the Golden Boot at the 2017 under-17 World Cup.
Wilder, whose team travels to Arsenal on Sunday searching for its first points of the new season, petitioned United’s owners to pay the reported £23.5m required to trigger Brewster’s release after watching his side fail to take any of the numerous chances created during games against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Leeds. Sander Berge, a £22m purchase from Genk, was United’s previous record signing.
Suggesting United have also fended off interest from rival clubs in some of their most valuable assets, Bettis said: "The signings and the increased contracts for a number of individuals, combined with the fact that we have held off advances for our players, signify significant investment in the team.”