Sheffield United lost to QPR last night to make it two without a win at Bramall Lane, and it was another frustrating night for striker, Rhian Brewster.
The former Liverpool man was left out of the starting XI once more. Indeed, Brewster has started just three times all season, with the in-form duo of Oli McBurnie and Iliman Ndiaye keeping him out recently.
Last night, Brewster was introduced for the final 25 minutes with United chasing the game at 1-0 down. But rather than impact the game positively in the final third, it was a case of the same old story for Brewster, who did little to show why Paul Heckingbottom should be giving him more time from the start.
Brewster’s display was that of a player who is struggling to find his way once again. We sympathise with the young striker on this, in fairness. After finally hitting the scoring trail last season, young Rhian was robbed of game time when he picked up an injury that kept him out of the rest of the season.
However, he is now back and fully fit and has featured in pretty much every Championship game this term. Worryingly, his only big contribution so far was to set up the winner away at Swansea. Other than that – apart from winning a penalty against Millwall – Brewster’s impact has been minimal to say the least.
Last night against the R’s, Brewster did nothing once again. Per WhoScored, he attempted just three passes, had one shot, and made a single tackle.
As United pushed to win it late on, Brewster was often seen around the edge of the box rather than busting a gut to get into the a position to nick an equaliser. Billy Sharp, so often the hero, had minimal impact too, but he was waiting more than once to pounce if the ball did drop.
We’ve written before about how much we’d like Brewster to succeed. But now into his third season at the club, surely time is starting to tick and patience wearing thin from supporters and coaching staff.
Coincidentally, as we write this, Brewster might actually have the ideal chance this coming weekend. Oli McBurnie’s fifth booking of the season means he is out for the trip to Stoke. And with Billy Sharp only just back from injury, surely Brewster is the one who should be in line to start in McBurnie’s place.
However, while it might only be one game, the pressure is on Brewster to deliver. McBurnie has shown the corner can be turned and he’s been one of the star men in recent weeks. Should Rhian get the nod at Stoke, it really is a huge chance to prove he can step up.
This is a Sheffield United side ravaged by injuries at the moment. Paul Heckingbottom needs more from those players not always guaranteed a start, and Rhian Brewster is in that group of player.
For Brewster, this weekend could be his chance to get going. If he is to start, he needs to heed Jack Lester’s advice of getting in between the posts. That, coupled with some hard work and making life hard for defenders like McBurnie does, will give Brewster the platform to build on.
However, another blank and another underwhelming performance could leave United fans wondering if we will ever see the Rhian Brewster we all thought we were getting when Chris Wilder signed him.