Jurgen Klopp won’t be driven by “selfish” transfer decisions as he expanded on the reason to allow Rhian Brewster to leave Liverpool.
Brewster completed a £23.5million move to Sheffield United on Friday, with the Reds having negotiated a buy-back option guaranteed for three years and a 15% sell-on clause.
The 20-year-old remains highly rated by Klopp who, just days after his arrival at Liverpool in October 2015, watched the youngster score on his debut for the under-18s at the Academy in Kirkby.
Brewster’s subsequent development was hampered by spending more than a year on the sidelines following a serious knee injury, after which he made his long-awaited debut in the League Cup win at MK Dons in September 2019.
But after only four senior appearances, the striker’s first-team options were limited further by the recent arrival of Diogo Jota.
Klopp admitted on Friday he would have been minded to hold on to Brewster had the forward been in his mid-20s.
However, the Reds boss has no intention of keeping hold of any younger players if the size of the squad means they won’t be able to consistently challenge for a starting role.
“It is always like this, honestly,” said Klopp. “If I am selfish that never helps really, to be honest.
“I need a player in the right place and at the right moment, so that means he is ready to fight but has all the tools to fight for the position that the squad gives him the opportunity to fight for.
“That is really important, especially for a boy like Rhian who we were 100% concerned about during his development (because of his injury). 100%.
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“This is our boy and since I’ve been here Rhian was here, but unfortunately he got injured.”
Klopp added: “Everybody needs to know, all the young boys need to know, that we don’t keep them here at all costs – just that we have a solution for one or two games a year. That is not how we work.
“If it is like this, we always want to try solutions. We want to use these boys on specific days but for that they need to take some steps in their development and sometimes we are the right place for them to take this development and sometimes we are not.
“And that is what we have to admit – that’s all.”
Liverpool aim to continue the 100% start to their Premier League defence when they travel to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Klopp is expected to heavily rotate his squad following Thursday’s Carabao Cup fourth round exit at home to Arsenal on penalties.