Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his reluctance to let go of promising youngster Rhian Brewster during the summer transfer window.
The England Under-21 international was regarded as one of the best prospects to have emerged from Liverpool's academy in recent years, and after a successful loan spell at Swansea last season things, looked to be progressing for him at Liverpool as Klopp trusted him to take a penalty in August's FA Community Shield match against Arsenal.
However, Liverpool chose to sell Brewster to Sheffield United for a reported £23.5m towards the end of the 'summer' transfer window, although the Reds can exercise a buy-back clause within the first three years of his contract.
In advance of Liverpool's fixture against the Blades, where Brewster made his return to Anfield in a 2-1 defeat, Klopp opened up in the club's matchday programme about how difficult it was to consent to selling him.
“There is one change to Sheffield United that certainly makes them more dangerous. And that is the arrival of Rhian Brewster," Klopp began, in quotes relayed by the Express.
"Our guy, our man - this will always be the case in our hearts. But now on the pitch he is Sheffield United. And anyone who knows Rhian will be aware that sentiment will be firmly left outside of Anfield when he arrives today.
“It would not be possible for me to understate my love, respect and admiration for Rhi. Such a special guy on and off the pitch. I’m not going to lie, agreeing to that transfer was really hard."
Klopp added that Brewster was a 'natural born goalscorer' - praising his ability to work through some tough early career moments - and was a coach's dream, owing to his enthusiasm and desire to improve.
“He is a natural-born goalscorer. It’s in his DNA. He is a coach’s dream as he is so eager to learn but also a beacon of positive energy," the German continued. "He had some really hard moments with us, but throughout he never once lost belief and he was always someone who would light up a room, even when he experienced really tough times.
“We miss him but we are delighted that he has found a fantastic home at Sheffield United.
"Hopefully he has an off-night this evening and then when we travel to Sheffield. But for the other games we all support him and wish him success.”