Liverpool FC player Oakley Cannonier signs his contract at the Axa Training Centre, 02/07/21. Photo: Nick Taylor/LFC

Liverpool hand contract to striker who played his part in famous Anfield night

Liverpool have continued their run of new contracts for young players as striker Oakley Cannonier signs his first professional deal with the club.

Cannonier was part of the Reds’ under-18s squad last season, scoring four goals in eight games before injury stalled his progress under Marc Bridge-Wilkinson.

The 17-year-old is poised to take a more prominent role for the U18s this time around, and the club have reinforced this by handing him his first professional contract.

Liverpool confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon, following similar deals for left-back Luke Chambers and goalkeeper Harvey Davies already this week.

It comes as part of the Reds’ academy housekeeping between seasons, and the likes of Jakub Ojrzynski and Owen Beck also believed to have agreed new contracts, with announcements forthcoming.

For Cannonier, the step up from scholar’s terms is vindication for his hard work since arriving at Liverpool from Leeds as an under-12s player.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 31, 2020: Liverpool's substitute Oakley Cannonier during the Under-18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Newcastle United FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The teenager will now be looking to continue his progress at Kirkby, to ensure he is not solely remembered for his part in the famous Anfield victory over Barcelona in 2019.

It was Cannonier, on ball-boy duties for the night, who handed Trent Alexander-Arnold the ball for his quickly taken corner to tee up Divock Origi in the Champions League triumph.

His name is a memorable one, and supporters ensured he received the praise he deserved for his sharp thinking, as it played a small part in the road to Liverpool’s sixth European Cup.

Cannonier is most regularly used as a striker, but can play as a No. 10 or in wider roles too, and along with his pace, movement and finishing ability, he is also willing to work hard off the ball.