This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
As some of you may have heard, Liverpool’s first-team stars have been hard at work on international duty whilst others in the squad take a well deserved holiday.
After a gruelling 97-point Premier League campaign and a successful Champions League expedition last term, the likes of Joel Matip and Fabinho got to jet off and chill out.
Whilst they and others were letting their hair down, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker embarked on international tournaments – the latter pair went away and won the Copa America, whilst Salah and Mane took part in the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Out of all of them, it was Mane who finished latest after making the AFCON final with Senegal, which they unfortunately lost to Algeria.
Due to his exploits, the former Southampton man will miss the Community Shield game against Manchester City, and will return to the club just four days before the opening game against Norwich.
Embarking on a season without the Premier League Golden Boot winner may worry some Liverpool fans, and quite understandably – however, they don’t need to worry thanks to Rhian Brewster’s excellent pre-season form.
Brewster’s goals were all impressive, and showed his wide array of striking skills ranging from instinctive follow-ups, confidently struck penalties and sharp aerial instincts.
If he had just been signed for £30m and was performing like this, you can only imagine the hype surrounding his form, so it is only fair that we praise Brewster for his efforts substantially.
It may only be pre-season, but the 19-year-old is in a purple patch and has the wind in his sails after Klopp breathed life into them.
From what we’ve seen, he can capably stand in for Mane for a few early season games at least, and potentially be a key figure alongside the Senegalese forward later on once he regains his fitness.
Liverpool needn’t worry about being without their 22-goal attacker with Brewster around.