Young Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster has revealed that manager Jurgen Klopp actually blocked his loan move away from the club this summer.
The teenager was on the bench for the Champions League final last season and has been an unused substitute again this season, meaning he is still waiting for his first-team debut.
Given the lack of first-team opportunities, Brewster asked Klopp to let him leave on loan, but the 19-year-old told Four Four Two that the manager had no interest in losing him, even on a temporary basis.
He said: "Yeah, I spoke to him at the beginning of the season and he just said 'no'. He doesn’t want me to go on loan, he wants me to stay. So that’s fair enough and it’s good to hear.
"Competition is good, it only makes you stronger. You don’t want to be the one who’s sitting on the bench or not playing. So of course, it makes you motivated – and it only improves you playing with these guys. With those who aren’t as good, maybe the standard might drop a bit, but playing with great players like I am helps."
When asked whether he felt he deserved the chance to play at the top level, Brewster responded: "I hope so. Obviously I’m not the judge of that, it’s not me – it's the manager. You know, it’s up to him if he plays me."
Brewster is seen as one of the most exciting prospects in the Liverpool ranks, but he has found himself stuck behind the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the pecking order at Anfield.
He has also struggled to displace either Xherdan Shaqiri or Divock Origi on the bench, having featured in just one matchday squad this season.
However, Klopp clearly wants to keep the 19-year-old around as backup, but he will need to make that breakthrough soon to avoid fears that his career could stall.