The accolades he got as a youth player were legit - top scorer and third best player (Foden was the award for best). But as high as that competition this, it was still just 17 year olds. The list of lads who were the best prospects in the world at that age and went no where (relatively speaking) is longer than those who lived up to their reputation. Toni Kroos and Cesc are other recent winners of the golden ball at that tournament. But so too are Iheanach, Anderson, Pongolle, and Landon Donovan…as are a bunch of players that few if anyone would ever have heard of. By the time you get to the same level at U19 and 20s the progression to genuine star is more reliable (Pogba, Aguero, Messi, Saviola) but even still includes plenty of misses (Solanke’s fate yet to be determined).
FWIW, I always argued against the grain that Solanke was the better prospect of the two. His performances at that level seemed to be more rounded rather than just goal scoring (finished higher in the U20s golden ball award than the goal scoring award) which to me is often a good indication of higher prospects for a forward. We’ll see.
Sometimes the kid just doesnt develop. Sometimes they overrated. Sometimes they just get stinking luck. Rarely does it deserve crowing over or criticism of the lad though
The gripe I had at the time was the commercial side of the club giving way too much exposure to a lad who had hardly even begun his career. He was getting more media appeareances on the likes of the official youtube channel than more experienced players.
I can understand Klopp thinking he had great potential so allowed him to be part of the first team while recuperating. No probs with that at all. These injuries in his formative years may curtail how far he can go, so best wishes to him.
I think the lesson has been learned, as the youngsters who now get on the channel are not the main focus of the video, but are there in the background.
Yeah, one of the possibilities regarding the way we treated him was that we saw a top prospect we had big expectations for on the brink emotionally after a particularly bad injury and felt throwing our arms around him was what he needed. If it doesnt work it has cost us absolutely nothing.
Think Rhian got plenty of exposure because he had a good personality and was English. Also probably wanted to be on camera in comparison to other players. Just think he was not good enough. Remember his last pre season though scoring a good few so was sad he left us but brilliant by whoever made the decision. Got a good fee and cut him off at his peak for us.
If you miss too much football at a crucial formative stage, it is very unlikely that you will fulfil your potential.
Brewster was one of the best in the world in the u-17 bracket. Then a bad injury, and by the time he is coming back, a lot of the others have bypassed him. He couldn’t dominate as he did a couple of years earlier, and his all round game wasn’t as polished either, so he was playing catch up on two levels.
That’s around the time we sold to Sheffield United. Most of us expected him to kick on, and I think we even had some sort of buy back deal in there, just in case he exploded.
But more often than not, fairytales don’t happen. Now there’s another injury, and who knows where this will leave him for the future.
You would have to think at the least a career lower down, if the hunger and desire are still there, but it doesn’t look like he will be a Prem player.
He scored a lovely penalty, top bins, right in front of me and my lad when Liverpool played Dortmund in a preseason friendly here in Indiana. We were raving over him.
Just shows the gap that exists between youth football and top level professional football.
I’ve seen a couple instances where hockey players here take shit from the fans and on occasion they strike back. One particular player named Domi had an fan taunting him who then fell into the penalty box with him and said fan took a few punches.