Arsenal’s £26m buy William Saliba, Chelsea and Everton’s young stars with big futures… and Rory Delap’s SON! Meet the 10 Premier League kids ready to take the Carabao Cup by storm this week
- Round three of the Carabao Cup takes place this week as part of a busy schedule
- The ‘Big Six’ will now join at this stage of the tournament in the midweek games
- Potential young gems are in line to play for Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool
- Pep Guardiola is expected to pick youth this week – including Rory Delap’s son
- There are also exciting talents at Everton, Fulham and West Brom set to feature
The Carabao Cup starts getting serious this week as the Big Six enter the competition at round three..
With English domestic fixtures coming thick and fast, and European competition around the corner, it will give Premier League managers the chance to rest players and give some of their exciting youth products a run around.
With 15 fixtures set to be played across the midweek schedule, Sportsmail takes a look at ten exciting teenage talents who will be looking to impress for their top-flight clubs.
The Carabao Cup continues in midweek, giving youngsters many opportunities to impress
William Saliba (Arsenal)
Arsenal could be set to hand a debut to one of their new centre back additions in William Saliba when the Gunners travel to Leicester City on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old played 16 times for Saint-Etienne last season but has yet to feature in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta after getting some important minutes under his belt for the under-23s last week.
Saliba is highly-rated by Arsenal, who paid £27million for him last summer before loaning him back to Saint-Etienne. Could he be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive woes?
Arsenal could give a competitive debut to William Saliba against Leicester City on Wednesday
Liam Delap (Manchester City)
After beating Wolves in the Premier League on Monday night, Pep Guardiola confirmed that he will use mostly academy players for their Carabao Cup clash against Bournemouth on Thursday evening.
One player likely to be involved is young striker Liam Delap, who was on the substitutes’ bench at Molineux as a back-up option for Gabriel Jesus.
The 17-year-old, who is the son of former Stoke City midfielder Rory, is over 6ft tall and has scored three goals in two matches for the City under-21s so far this season.
With Sergio Aguero potentially out for two months due to injury, Delap could cement his place as City’s back-up forward if he impresses against the Cherries.
Liam Delap could be given a shock start for Manchester City against Bournemouth this week
Neco Williams (Liverpool)
Right back Neco Williams is already a familiar face to Liverpool fans having played six times in the Premier League last season for Jurgen Klopp’s title-winning side.
But the Wales international defender has failed to make any of the Reds’ Premier League squads this term, though he did play in Liverpool’s Community Shield defeat by Arsenal last month.
Williams scored his first international goal in early September – a last minute winner against Bulgaria in the Nations League – and the 19-year-old will feel he can challenge Trent Alexander-Arnold for a starting spot if he continues his rise when Liverpool travel to Lincoln on Thursday.
Neco Williams will be hoping to continue his rise as Liverpool travel to Lincoln City
Niels Nkounkou (Everton)
Everton breezed past Salford City in round two of the competition last week, but a surprise star during that game was summer signing Niels Nkounkou.
The 19-year-old joined on a free transfer from Marseille earlier this summer, with Carlo Ancelotti an admirer of the French left-back.
Nkounkou showed a great deal of pace in the 3-0 win at Goodison Park last week and is likely to get another opportunity to shine when the Toffees play Fleetwood Town on Wednesday.
Niels Nkounkou impressed on his Everton debut in the 3-0 win over Salford City in round two
Antonee Robinson (Fulham)
Fulham host Sheffield Wednesday this week in round three, with Scott Parker preparing to ring the changes to create healthy competition for places at Craven Cottage.
One of the areas where the west Londoners need to improve is defence, with Fulham conceding seven goals in their opening two matches. With Joe Bryan giving away a penalty in Saturday’s 4-3 loss at Leeds, summer signing Antonee Robinson is expected to come in and fight for his chances as a regular starter.
The American full-back arrived from Wigan Athletic in a £2million deal over the summer but has only started the 1-0 round two win over Ipswich Town in his Fulham career to date.
Antonee Robinson (left) could give Scott Parker a selection headache at Craven Cottage
Ian Maatsen (Chelsea)
Another left back looking to impress in west London is Dutch defender Ian Maatsen, who could feature for Chelsea against Barnsley on Wednesday night.
The 18-year-old has been at Stamford Bridge for two years having joined from the PSV Eindhoven academy in 2018. He only has one senior appearance for the Blues to date, which came in last year’s round three thrashing of Grimsby Town.
With Ben Chilwell still out injured and Marcos Alonso struggling for form, Maatsen could gain some more valuable first-team minutes this week.
Ian Maatsen (above) could challenge Marcos Alonso for a left-back spot in the Chelsea team
Anthony Gordon (Everton)
Local lad Anthony Gordon signed a new contract at Goodison Park at the start of the month then wowed Everton supporters with a superb display against Salford City in round two.
The 19-year-old midfielder hit the woodwork several times in the comfortable victory and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
Gordon played a handful of times under Carlo Ancelotti last season in the Premier League and the Liverpool-born youngster can boost his chances of more top-flight game time with another solid showing at Fleetwood.
Anthony Gordon was unlucky not to score in Everton’s round two clash against Salford City
Tommy Doyle (Manchester City)
Exciting young midfielder Tommy Doyle announced himself to Manchester City supporters by making a substitute appearance in his side’s 5-0 win over Newcastle United earlier this year.
Now he has a real chance of getting his first senior start for the club with Pep Guardiola’s side hosting Bournemouth on Thursday.
The 18-year-old has been compared to Phil Foden in his style of play and recently signed a new deal at the Etihad Stadium until 2025. He is certainly one for the future.
Tommy Doyle (left) played for Manchester City last season under Pep Guardiola (right)
Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool)
Liverpool have injury issues at the back ahead of their Carabao Cup clash with Lincoln on Thursday. Joel Matip and Joe Gomez missed the win over Chelsea on Sunday, meaning Fabinho had to deputise in the centre of defence.
In order to give the makeshift Brazilian defender and Virgil van Dijk a break ahead of a busy schedule, Jurgen Klopp could be tempted to play young defender Sepp van den Berg against the League One outfit.
The Dutch defender played three times in the League Cup last term but did not manage to earn a Premier League appearance in the Reds’ title-winning campaign.
Sepp van den Berg (right) could help give Virgil Van Dijk a rest in the Liverpool backline
Rekeem Harper (West Bromwich Albion)
West Brom’s Rekeem Harper was already a bright talent before the Baggies’ round two clash against Harrogate Town last week. His stock rose dramatically when he fired in a long-range effort to open the scoring at the Hawthorns.
The 20-year-old midfielder played just ten times in West Brom’s promotion-winning season last term but did come off the bench in the opening game of the Premier League season against Leicester City.
Harper will be hoping for more minutes when Slaven Bilic’s side host Brentford in round three. The Bees challenged the Baggies for the second spot last term and won away at Southampton in the previous round of the cup.
Rekeem Harper scored a long-range howitzer in the round two win over Harrogate Town
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