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Londoner Rhian Brewster left Chelsea to continue his career with Liverpool.Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Despite only turning 17 in April, Rhian Brewster seems to be a footballer in a hurry.

A forward with the wonderful combination of pace, power and skill, Brewster has made such huge leaps at Liverpool in the 2016/17 season that even astronaut Neil Armstrong should be impressed.

At the start of the campaign, he was still yet to make his debut for the Reds’ under-18 team. Now he is an established member of the under-23 squad, has experienced sitting on the bench for the first team and is currently playing a starring role for England at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

Yet the really good news for Liverpool fans is this could just be the tip of the iceberg for a player who left Chelsea to head north and further his career.

“He has a long way to go and he is prepared to put the work in, and at this moment in time he is someone who has got huge potential,” under-23s coach Mike Garrity said of Brewster, per the Press Association (h/t the Irish Independent).

Brewster is obviously not the first hotshot to come through the ranks at Liverpool’s academy. He’s not even the first forward to emerge from the Kirkby production line and flirt with the first team this season.

Michael Owen made an immediate impact.

Michael Owen made an immediate impact.Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Just over 20 years ago, Liverpool handed an opportunity to a young striker who had also impressed at youth level for both club and country.

On May 6, 1997, Michael Owen made his first-team debut. Charged with the task of rekindling the Reds’ fading title hopes, he scored 16 minutes into his debut against Wimbledon.

“If you are good enough, you are old enough,” former manager Roy Evans said, per Ian Ross of the Guardian.

Owen was definitely good enough. At 17 years and 143 days, he became the club’s youngest scorer (a record that stood until this season). Just a year later, the forward finished as the Premier League’s joint-top marksmen with 18 goals and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

It is asking an awful lot for Brewster to follow suit, but Liverpool know better than most the benefits of nurturing homegrown talent. All clubs want scorers, yet most come at a serious cost.

Even cash-rich Premier League clubs like a bargain—what better way of saving money than developing a star through your own ranks?

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