Steve Cooper has revealed his new signing Rhian Brewster turned down a number of other clubs before joining Swansea City.
The Swans manager – who could now give Brewster a debut at Cardiff City on Sunday – said he had been waiting all season to try and complete a loan deal for the 19-year-old Liverpool striker, who worked with Cooper at England U17 level.
Brewster is highly regarded at Anfield but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by as Liverpool’s established attackers continue to shine.
But that only increased the competition for his services, including from Premier League Aston Villa and also Leeds United, who already look bound for promotion from the Championship.
Cooper said: “We are pleased Rhian has decided to join us. He had a number of opportunities to go elsewhere.
“We have monitored his situation all season knowing what Liverpool’s plans were in terms of sending him out on loan. They were clear in the summer that they didn’t want it to be until this time of year.
“We think it could be a good move for everybody, including ourselves. It’s a case now of Rhian settling in as quickly as possible and feeling comfortable.”
Brewster, who came through the youth ranks at Chelsea before moving north, made his first Liverpool appearance in the Carabao Cup third-round win at MK Dons earlier this season and then scored a penalty in the shoot-out victory against Arsenal in the following round.
He most recently came on 11 minutes from the end of Sunday’s FA Cup win against Everton.
The England Under-21 international holds a Champions League winners’ medal having been an unused substitute in the 2-0 win over Tottenham in last season’s final.
He will now link up once again with Cooper, who was in charge of the England side that won the 2017 Under-17s World Cup – a tournament in which Brewster won the golden boot for the top goalscorer.
Swansea confirmed Brewster would be available for Sunday’s derby clash with Cardiff as he looks to help guide the club back into the Premier League.
“I’ve come here to try and play a lot of games and score a lot of goals for Swansea,” Brewster told the club’s website.
“It’s a great club. I’ve been watching them for ages – particularly when they were in the Premier League.
“Hopefully I can help them get back to where they belong. At this moment in time Swansea is the best team for me to join on loan. I want to help Swansea get promoted.
When England U17s lifted the trophy in India following a spectacular 5-2 comeback win over Spain, Brewster ended the tournament with eight goals, including one in the final.
“I’ve worked with him for a long time,” added Brewster.
“During the World Cup, I remember I had only scored one goal in four games. He kept picking me and saying: ‘Rhian, keep going. I know your quality, just make sure you keep working hard and your goals will come.’
“We got to the quarter-finals and the goals started coming thick and fast. Of course, I finished as top scorer, but Coops kept his faith in me and kept selecting me.
“It helps when you know the head coach and have worked under him before. I’ve worked with a few of the backroom staff here before as well. That helps quite a bit.
“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.”
Cooper added: “It’s an important move for him because he wants to get games and goals under his belt.
“He’s been part of very high performing and successful cultures already with the national team and Liverpool, so he’s seen what that looks like.
“Our objectives are no different. We want to be the best we can be and work as hard as we can. We want to play in a certain way and we demand that every single day.
“We want to bring players in that can improve us but, at the same time, I want to bring the right characters in too.
“I do believe we have a set of staff and lads that are very much together here and committed to the greater good of what we want the club to achieve.
“Rhian will add value to the team and will enjoy the atmosphere in the dressing room.”