Liverpool have struggled to retain their dominance in the Premier League this season and Jurgen Klopp will be desperately searching for solutions to improve the performances on the pitch with the business end of the campaign fast approaching.
The Reds are currently 10th in the league table after a run of inconsistent and poor displays has left them now 12 points adrift of the Champions League qualifying spots in top four and even more worrying, they are only 11 points ahead of Everton in the relegation zone.
Indeed, many of the successful players at Anfield are coming to the latter stages of their careers with several of the most important cogs in Klopp’s system well into their 30s at this point.
Who are Liverpool’s oldest players?
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip are just some of the players who are well into their 30s at this point and with the way Klopp’s side are performing at present it may be time to start thinking about developing and reinvesting in the next generation of talent at Anfield.
The Merseysiders have been heavily linked with moves for a number of upcoming and young talent over the last six months with Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Jude Bellingham the top priority for the club in the summer, despite his hefty £130m price tag.
However, Klopp could look closer to home when identifying the future of his Liverpool side and could save millions by unearthing the incredible talent already developing right under his nose in the youth academy.
With Firmino – as it stands – out of contract in the summer, the German coach could unearth the Brazilian’s natural heir in U21 striker Oakley Cannonier.
Who is Liverpool youngster Oakley Cannonier?
It has been reported that Liverpool are working on a new contract for Firmino to extend his stay at Anfield, however, nothing has materialised as of yet with only a few months left to come to an agreement.
As a result, it may be an opportunity for Klopp to move on and bring through the next goal-scorer that can help him get Liverpool back on track and add quality depth to the attacking threat.
Cannonier has been plying his trade and developing his skills in the youth set-up since he joined the U12s from his hometown club Leeds United and has been a consistent and reliable threat in front of goal as he has risen through the ranks.
The 18-year-old – who was hailed a “goal machine” by GOAL journalist Neil Jones – has scored 44 goals and registered five assists over 57 appearances so far with a goal contribution every 70 minutes, which is an incredibly impressive output and seemingly makes him a perfect successor, should Firmino depart.
In August last year, the talented teenager was rewarded with a brand new long-term professional contract after finishing the 2021/22 season as the academy’s top goal-scorer with 28 goals tallied up in U18 Premier League North.
With that being said, the future is looking bright for Cannonier and if he continues to thrive in the academy it surely won’t be long before he catches the eye of Klopp to get his breakthrough into the first team.