In The Scout this week, Daniel Roberts takes a closer look at Liverpool and Brentford loanee Sergi Canos.
Born in Nules, Spain, the winger started his footballing journey at his hometown club before joining the famed La Masia academy at Barcelona in 2010, rejecting interest from Atletico Madrid and Valencia along the way. After three years at Camp Nou, the then-16-year-old, yet to sign professional terms, was coveted by a number of top English clubs and decided to move on to Liverpool. The switch prompted an angry backlash from Barca, with the club complaining to the Spanish FA over Premier League club’s ease at poaching young talent. On his decision to trade Catalonia for Merseyside, Canos said:
“I thought that it was the best decision. Liverpool offered me things at a sporting level that Barca didn’t”.
At 5ft 11, Canos is capable of playing on either flank, while also adept at playing as a No.9. A proficient dribbler, the Spaniard is keen to take on his defender and won’t shy away from attacking runs, offering a direct threat to opposition. Comfortable with the ball at his feet, his attacking output continues to improve as he progresses, with his passing and finishing skills an impressive feature of his game.
After three years at Anfield, he is still yet to make his first-team debut. However he has impressed on his way through the ranks, making his debut for the Under-21 side against Manchester United in the 2014-2015 season.
To further his progression, Canos joined Championship side Brentford in a bid to experience senior first-team football. Although yet to complete a full 90 minutes for the side within his 28 appearances for the club, Canos has still made an impression within the 1,134 minutes of action he has seen, prompting the Bees to extend his deal until the end of the season.
Making his debut for the London side in a draw against Leeds, he has offered a strong option from the bench throughout the season, scoring four goals and creating seventeen chances for his team-mates. With a 50% shot and 66% pass accuracy, the youngster still has a long way to go, but for his first professional league campaign, he has certainly impressed.
On the international scene, Canos has represented Spain at U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19 level, making a combined 14 appearances and scoring five goals. In January he made his debut for the Under-19’s in their defeat to Italy and is expected to make the step up to the Under-21s in the coming years.
Watch Canos’ performance against Reading, where he scored an incredible left-footed drive.
What the experts say?
Brentford manager, Dean Smith:
“I have been really pleased with Sergi and he has been progressing really well. Even though he is only 18-years-old, he has quite an old head on young shoulders.”
Liverpool Under-21 manager, Michael Beale:
“There’s not many players of his age playing regularly in the Championship and there’s no one having the same impact.
“No pressure on him but if he can continue doing what he’s doing then we’ll see where that’ll lead. I think that he’ll go on to have a very good career.”
Former Brentford head coach, Marinus Dijkhuizen:
“I am pleased we have been able to bring Sergi in to the Club. He is very good technically and is a quick attacking player”.
Where does the future lie?
With the Anfield club heavily stocked in the attacking ranks, it is unlikely Canos will make a break through at Liverpool in the near future, although his impressive start to life in the Championship, combined with the chances given to Jordan Ibe and Raheem Stirling, offers great hope for the Spanish forward.
Talking about his future, Canos aims to impress Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp whilst out on loan this season, acknowledging the massive opportunity he has at Brentford.
“For me this opportunity is amazing. I’m growing a lot as a player so I want to stay.
“I hope Klopp is watching but I can’t think about the future. I want to keep going. I want to make more goals for the team and make more assists. I’m only looking at next week.”
For the remainder of the campaign however, it is likely the youngster’s goal will be to make further starts for Brentford and to complete a full 90 minutes for the club. Following on from that, he should aspire to join the Liverpool first-team during their pre-season preparations and will look to impress and learn from the experience of being around the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.