Everton have endured a tricky few weeks under Rafa Benitez, picking up just one point from a possible 12 as they’ve slipped down the Premier League table.
A run of three consecutive defeats was finally halted over the weekend when the Toffees held Tottenham Hotspur to a 0-0 draw, but putting the ball in the back of the net remains a major issue.
The Goodison Park outfit have only scored four goals in their last five outings, largely due to star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin being forced to watch on from the sidelines.
In his absence, summer signing Salomon Rondon has failed to notch his first effort in Everton colours, while Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend’s fast starts have slowed down somewhat.
However, Benitez could unearth the solution to his side’s problems in front of goal by placing his trust in Thomas Cannon.
The 18-year-old academy star has been in scintillating form for his boyhood club over the last two-and-a-half years, enjoying a breakout campaign throughout 2019/20 until the ongoing pandemic stopped play.
Cannon scored an incredible 16 goals in 16 appearances for Everton’s U18’s in 2019/20, adding a further five assists for his grateful teammates.
And the talented teenager proved it was no one-season wonder by notching up a highly respectable tally of 19 goal contributions in 38 outings last term, making his debut for the U23’s along the way.
Throughout his youth career, Cannon has scored a wide variety of efforts and due to his style of play, preference to run in behind the defence, and ability to work between the lines, comparisons to Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy have been drawn.
His 2020/21 showing was described as “formidable” on Everton’s official website and it appears the Republic of Ireland staff agree with them.
Cannon was called up to the national team after his eye-catching displays at club level, and he carried his form onto the international scene, notching a hat-trick of assists during the 13-0 thrashing of Gibraltar.
Whether the youngster is ready to play a part for Benitez’s first team yet remains to be seen, but he continues on the same trajectory, then surely it’s a matter of when and not if he gets his Premier League opportunity.