Oakley Cannonier can be something special. That’s according to his current youth coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.
Oakley Cannonier is a name you’ll likely hear quite a lot of over the next few years – and hopefully beyond. Though, it’s also a name you might have heard already.
The teenager managed to get himself into Liverpool headlines before ever donning the Red shirt at a serious level. He was the ball boy who returned the ball for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner against Barcelona.
But Cannonier is now getting fans excited on the pitch as he continues to thrive at youth level. The 17-year-old has eight goals in six Under 18 Premier League games this season, setting himself up as a very interesting young player.
And coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson believes Cannonier can go beyond being know for his ball boy efforts – Liverpool have a special player.
“Oakley has started the season really well, but it hasn’t surprised me,” says Bridge-Wilkinson, per the Liverpool Echo.. “I’ve worked with him since he was 14 and he has always done well.
“The only problem has been that, because of injury, he hasn’t been able to play an awful lot. Oakley is a really good player.
“He scores goals, creates chances and threatens the back line.
“It’s nice to be known for other things, but I think he would rather be known for playing football than being on the side of it.”
Is Cannonier special?
Now, young players do come along and score lots of goals at youth level every now and then. They don’t necessarily make the step up and do it with senior sides – some even fall apart with the Under 23s.
But Cannonier appears to have something particularly interesting about him. The Athletic, for instance, quote a club source as seeing some Philippe Coutinho in him.
‘Coutinho but with goals’ is certainly an exciting prospect but there’s a long way to go before that point. Cannonier is ticking all the right boxes up to now, though, and that’s all you can really ask for. As Bridge-Wilkinson says, the teenager creates and scores – he’s not a one-trick pony.
And if he continues this kind of form all season, there’s little doubt that he’ll get a chance at a higher level before long.