Baxter seeks to haunt boyhood club
By Cam Melling
Jose Baxter will once again attempt to prove himself on the highest level when the ITV cameras travel to Boundary Park this Sunday, to see his Oldham side take on Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Just four and half years ago, the forward made his debut for Everton, becoming their youngest player ever to play in the Premier League. Just six years prior to this, a certain Wayne Rooney had done the same.
Of course Baxter's career has not quite reached the heights of the Manchester United forward's but that's not to say it will not happen yet. At just twenty years old, he has the majority of his career ahead of it. It would be a foolish man to write off the Englishman, despite his release, with many years ahead. TV viewers will get a glimpse of him in the form of his life this Sunday. Skillful, tricky and with an eye for goal, he will no doubt be the main threat for the Liverpool defence.
And this game will hold an even higher significance than any so far this season for the 20 year old. Not only is it the world's oldest cup but it is also his first chance for him to play against the club he has supported his whole life. In a interview with the Times, Baxter said that even at Everton he would still see any Liverpool game he could. This is yet another reason why he will be so desperate to perform against the Reds.
There is not doubt that the boy from Liverpool has potential. Everyone could see it from the start of his Everton career, where he appeared in all of Everton's first three games in the 2008/09, starting in the second. Everyone could see when he scored a sensational solo strike against Nottingham Forest a few weeks before. And Oldham fans can still see it now.
If Baxter repeats the form he has shown so far for Oldham and that of the one that helped him produce that magical goal for Everton, then not only will he make a mockery of his good friend Jamie Carragher and his Liverpool teammates but he will also be on the radar for many a higher level team.
Only a few weeks ago, Reading signed Hope Akpan from Crawley, a player also released by the Toffees. On his debut he assisted Adam Le Fondre's winner against Newcastle. Surely, this gives Oldham's star man the hope that he too, can one day, return to the Premier League.