Starlets from Premier League big clubs stole fourth-round headlines so our friends at Football Whispers assess their chances of becoming big names
It took Eddie Nketiah just 15 seconds to become an Arsenal hero, meeting Francis Coquelin’s near-post flick from a corner and tucking home at the far post against Norwich City on Tuesday night.
Six minutes into extra time, the 18-year-old repeated the trick. Another corner from the left and this time Nketiah got up highest to nod home, sending the Gunners into the next round at the Canaries’ expense.
In a much-changed Arsenal side, the teenager’s brace was one of the big stories of Tuesday’s round-of-16 clashes.
Arsene Wenger has always been keen to promote youngsters in the League Cup and he is not the only one – a number of fringe players took their chance to impress.
And our friends at Football Whispers highlight five kids to watch after Tuesday’s games.
Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal – Striker
Chelsea fans will be left wondering why their club ever let the forward go after his match-saving brace off the bench. Nketiah joined the Gunners in 2015 after being released by the Blues who will surely be regretting their decision.
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On Tuesday, Championship side Norwich went in front thanks to a 34th-minute strike from Jacob Murphy, and looked like taking a place in the quarter-finals until Nketiah’s introduction.
Brought on for fellow youngster Reiss Nelson after 86 minutes, Nketiah took his chance and then some, scoring twice to send the Gunners into the last eight.
Tosin Adarabioyo, Manchester City – Centre-back
Despite City’s Champions League commitments, Pep Guardiola went with a strong side to face Championship leaders Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, including Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.
However, he also handed a rare start to 20-year-old Adarabioyo at the heart of a three-man defence.
And the 6’5” defender caught the eye in the 90 minutes he played before City progressed on penalties.
In fact, Manchester City fans were so impressed with the Manchester-born England Under-19 international there have been suggestions he should now be ahead of Eliaquim Mangala in the pecking order.
Scott McTominay, Manchester United – Central midfield
Midfielder McTominay has been around Jose Mourinho’s first team at United since last season and has already been on the bench in the Premier League this season.
With Mourinho prioritising the Europa League final last season, the 20-year-old made his Premier League debut in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in May and was handed a start against Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.
McTominay did well in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win at Swansea on Tuesday, playing the full 90 minutes in an otherwise strong United XI.
With Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba sidelined, the Lancaster-born midfielder could be set for more action.
Jack Simpson, Bournemouth – Centre-back
Cherries boss Eddie Howe went with a strong side to face Championship Middlesbrough but handed a full debut to Under-21 centre-back Simpson alongside Steve Cook.
And the 20-year-old defender repaid his boss’ faith by opening the scoring in the 49th minute when he met Ryan Fraser’s corner and volleyed home from six yards.
But the debutant was not done there and it was Simpson who won the penalty for Callum Wilson to score the home side’s second.
Axel Tuanzebe, Manchester United – Centre-back
Tuanzebe, like McTominay, was one of a clutch of young United starlets to benefit from the Red Devils’ Europa League run last season, impressing in the four Premier League appearances he made at the end of the season.
The versatile 19-year-old was handed his first appearance of the current campaign at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night, playing on the left-hand side of a back three for Manchester United.
And the DR Congo-born defender looked assured in yet another new role, having previously played at right back, wing-back and holding midfield during his brief United career.
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