Liverpool have signed some of the biggest superstars in the world over the years but have also produced some incredible talents in their academy.
Steven Gerrard, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler are just a few of the players who were developed into household names through the academy on Merseyside, and is something that Jurgen Klopp should exploit more often.
The Reds have been struggling over their Premier League campaign and are currently 10th in the table, matching Brentford and local rivals Everton for points so far, making it their worst start to a season in a decade.
Klopp has been searching for solutions over the last few weeks to get his team back to winning ways by changing formation and switching up the tactics to make the Reds more unpredictable against their opponents, but there may be an opportunity to find solutions within the youth academy too.
One player who has been a standout performer in Liverpool’s youth setup is Oakley Cannonier, an 18-year-old forward who has been scoring for fun.
Throughout his career so far coming through the ranks in the under-18 and under-21 teams, the teenager has scored an impressive 43 goals and delivered five assists across 56 appearances, with a goal contribution every 73 minutes.
In fact, the talented centre-forward – who was dubbed a “goal machine” by journalist Neil Jones – was the top scorer in the Under-18 Premier League last season with 28 goals in just 26 appearances, and this season the youngster is showing no signs of slowing down.
Cannonier has scored an astonishing seven goals in just four UEFA Youth League appearances so far, along with two goals in the Premier League 2, proving that he may be worthy of a first team call-up very soon.
Liverpool youth coach Barry Lewtas has been singing the youngster’s praises after his hat-trick against Ajax last month, saying: “Getting a hat-trick in Europe isn’t easy. I think the real beauty, certainly in terms of Oakley’s goals, he’s been the one who has finished off the good attacks we have built.”
“He scores goals. He is always there to finish, which is the most exciting part of the game. So in fairness to him, he’s looked ever so sharp in the two games he has played for us in Europe.”
With that being said, the future is looking bright for Cannonier, and his clear eye for goal is something which will become harder for Klopp to ignore if he continues to score at this rate. It surely won’t be long before we see the striker getting his golden opportunity at Anfield soon and being famous not just for his ball boy role in that iconic Alexander-Arnold corner kick against Barcelona in May 2019.