KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 29, 2022: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Youth Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Chelsea FC Under-18's at the Liverpool Academy. Chelsea won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

41-goal academy striker handed new long-term Liverpool contract

Liverpool have rewarded a striker who scored 41 goals at academy level in 2021/22 with an improved long-term contract.

Oakley Cannonier signed his first professional contract with the Reds last summer and has spent the last two seasons with the under-18s.

The last campaign was his most productive yet, with the forward finishing the season as the Academy’s top goalscorer.

His standout performance came in April, when he scored four goals in the under-18’s 10-3 thrashing of his former club Leeds, while he also netted a hat-trick away at Man United.

Cannonier’s progress has now been recognised with an improved contract ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 6, 2021: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier shoots during the U18 Premier League match between Liverpool FC Under-18's and Middlesbrough FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 18-year-old is expected to play the majority of his football with Barry Lewtas‘ under-21s this season, and featured in their opening day defeat to Man City last weekend.

Many remember Cannonier for the part he played in Liverpool’s memorable Champions League victory over Barcelona in 2019 when, as ballboy, he handed the ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold before his iconic corner to set up Divock Origi for the winner.

Three years on, the striker will have designs on breaking into the first team himself, having yet to feature under Jurgen Klopp.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 18, 2021: Liverpool's Oakley Cannonier (2nd from R) celebrates after scoring the fifth goal during the Under-18 Premier League match between Burnley FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at The Barnfield Training Centre. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He trained with the senior squad before the Reds’ Premier League clash against Tottenham towards the end of the last campaign, but wasn’t included in any of their pre-season preparations this summer.

His movement and finishing ability are his standout attributes, reflected in the impressive goalscoring figures he has racked up at academy level.

Cannonier initially joined the club at under-12s level after leaving hometown club Leeds and will now be hoping the next stage of his Liverpool career is his most fruitful yet.