Everton are currently reaping the rewards for putting their faith in academy graduate Anthony Gordon, with manager Frank Lampard potentially set to unleash his next young star in the form of 19-year-old, Tom Cannon.
The promising striker has already been making waves at youth level in recent times, having netted 29 goals and provided nine assists in just 42 games at U18 level, with a further 16 goals and four assists for the Toffees’ U21 side.
That latter tally includes a haul of five goals and two assists in just seven games at Premier League 2 level so far this term, with the Republic of Ireland youth international also netting against Morecambe in the EFL Trophy back in August.
Such form has clearly caught the eye of the aforementioned Lampard, with the Aintree-born starlet having been pictured in first-team training ahead of Saturday’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, albeit with a first-team appearance having eluded him thus far.
A senior outing could well be in the pipeline, however, with journalist Joe Thomas having given the prolific marksman a glowing reference earlier this season following his brace against Manchester United U21s back in August, stating that he had “bullied defenders” with what was a “dominant” display leading the line.
The hope will be that Cannon can replicate the heroics of another former Toffees star if he is able to break into the first team any time soon, with fellow academy graduate Wayne Rooney arguably the club’s greatest success story of the modern era.
The now-retired menace had burst onto the scene at the age of just 16 back in 2002, with the dynamic and aggressive youngster swiftly becoming a leading figure for the club, netting that stunning effort against Arsenal to get off the mark for the Merseysiders.
A player who “changed everything” following his introduction on the Premier League stage – as per pundit Micah Richards – Rooney would thrive despite his tender years, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in the top flight during the 2003/04 campaign.
Such form unsurprisingly piqued the interest from clubs across Europe as the Liverpool-born machine was snapped by the Red Devils that summer, going on to enjoy a sensational spell at Old Trafford as he became the club’s leading scorer in all competitions with 253 goals.
While a figure such as the current DC United coach is a rare commodity as a result of his undeniable brilliance, his tale shows that age truly is just a number if the player is good enough, with Lampard and co needing to simply hand Cannon the chance to impress such is his own ruthless nature in front of goal.