Everton’s free-scoring under-23 striker Ellis Simms will spend the rest of the season on loan at Blackpool. The 20-year-old will be playing under the guidance of former Liverpool under-23 boss Neil Critchley and will hopefully push on and become a star player long-term at Everton.
However, whilst Simms is away, the time has come for someone else to step up and take over as the under-23s main goalscorer. Lewis Dobbin would have been the likely option, but his knee injury looks likely to leave him sidelined for the rest of the campaign.
It seems that the two men most likely to take the spot are Thomas Cannon and Katia Kouyate.
Irish youth international Cannon had a stunning campaign in 2019-20. The 18-year-old scored 16 goals in as many games for the under-18s – including four in one game in a 10-0 win over Sunderland.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Cannon’s playing style has been compared to a certain Jamie Vardy, so there is plenty of reason to be excited.
Then there is Kouyate. A year younger than Cannon, Kouyate is capable both as a striker or from the wing. He was sent off in the recent 1-1 draw with Liverpool’s under-23s and looks more likely to be used in a wide role going forward.
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Tyler Onyango is capable as a central striking option but the most likely scenario is that Cannon immediately replaces Simms and will hope to have a similar goal scoring return at this level.
This remains a transitional year for the under-23s and Cannon will now hope to establish himself as the starting striker for the club’s young Toffees.
We will just have to wait and see if he can live up to those Vardy comparisons in the long run.