Remember their names: a new generation takes the stage

Sam Wallace picks the rising talents ready to make their mark in this season's competition
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Chuks Aneke
17 years old, Arsenal

Turned 17 in July, when he signed his first professional contract, he has already captained the reserves this season. The east Londoner has developed into a passing midfielder. Strong and powerful, he has also scored some spectacular goals for the under-18s and reserves. Overshadowed in his age group by prolific goalscorer Benik Afobe who has already been selected for England U-19s. However, Aneke is not far behind.



Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
19, Arsenal

Will turn 20 in December and made his first-team debut against Stoke in the FA Cup last season. He will not count as one of the "kids" for much longer. There have been questions about his attitude in the past. Wenger said yesterday: "Jay has class. Class to give the ball, class to finish, class to pass people. I believe he can play against anybody and score goals but then again you must earn your place and on a daily basis he must show you have the hunger and quality." A very physically imposing player who has had loan spells at Blackpool and Doncaster, he can play in attack or midfield. An east London boy, he was captain of the Arsenal FA Youth Cup-winning team last year. This season has to be his breakthrough year.



Nathan Redmond
16, Birmingham City

Only Trevor Francis has played for Birmingham at a younger age – Redmond was 16 years and 173 days old when he made his first-team debut in August against Rochdale in the Carling Cup. Alex McLeish's team are at home to MK Dons tonight and might feel that they are due a decent run in the competition as one of the emergent teams in the Premier League. Redmond is a skilful winger who already has a squad number. Tipped to make an impression at a club that has a good youth system under academy manager Terry Westley.



Josh McEachran
17, Chelsea

Made his first-team debut against MSK Zilina in the Champions League. A cultured midfielder who played in the Chelsea Under-18s team that won the FA Youth Cup last season, he is one of the great hopes for the club's academy. Chelsea have never before used the Carling Cup to bring through young players – as is the case with Arsenal – but Carlo Ancelotti has promised that this year will be different. Jeffrey Bruma and Patrick van Aanholt are also likely to feature.



Ross Barkley
16, Everton

Still only 16 but another player named by Blake in the England Under-19 squad for the games next month. Everton's start to the season means that David Moyes will be eager not to lose to Brentford at Griffin Park. But if there is an outstanding young player at the club – outside the first team – then it is Barkley, a strong midfielder who has consistently played in older age groups throughout his development. Behind Jack Rodwell at the moment but destined to come though to the first team during his teenage years.



Jack Robinson
17, Liverpool

Only turned 17 last month, the left-back made history in the final game of last season when he made his first team debut against Hull City aged 16 years and 250 days – the youngest first-team player in the history of the club. Like Moyes, Roy Hodgson will be keen to avoid embarrassment in the third round against Northampton Town at home. But Robinson is among the best under-18 players at the club and has a good chance of being part of the squad for the game.



Jonjo Shelvey
18, Liverpool

Signed from Charlton Athletic for £1.7m in the summer, he had already played 42 games in the Championship for the club that developed him. Only 18, he can play as an attacking midfielder or striker. He has been touted as the next Steven Gerrard although it is early days yet and he has still not made his Liverpool first-team debut. One of a group of promising English players at the club including Andre Wisdom, 17, Raheem Sterling, 15 and Paul Ince's son Thomas, 18.



Greg Cunningham
19, Manchester City

A left-back from County Galway in Ireland who has played for his country's senior team twice. Still only 19, he made his debut for the City first team in January as a substitute in the FA Cup fourth round. Unusually he came late to City's academy from Mervue United in Ireland three years ago. He played in the City Under-18 team that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup last year. Injuries to Aleksandar Kolarov and Wayne Bridge mean that he may have a chance to make an impression.



Jake Livermore
20, Tottenham

Will be 21 in November so he needs to make a breakthrough at Spurs sooner rather than later. Expected to be one of just two academy-produced "kids" who feature against Arsenal tonight. Livermore, who has played once for the first team, comes from nearby Enfield and has developed into a powerful athletic central midfielder. He has had loan spells as MK Dons, Crewe, Derby County and Peterborough. Spurs prefer to loan players rather than keep them at the club if they are not in first team contention – they do not operate a reserve team.



Steven Caulker
18, Tottenham

Tipped by Harry Redknapp yesterday to play a part against Arsenal. A centre-half, he has been out with injury for the last seven weeks but could come back in to play. Under the supervision of Tim Sherwood who organises Spurs' loan players and keeps track of their development, Caulker, 18, from Hounslow, had a spell at Yeovil Town. Another player who needs to break through soon but has the advantage of playing in central defence where Spurs have lacked cover in the past.



Saido Berahino
17, West Bromwich

It depends how Roberto di Matteo approaches a game against Manchester City who are likely to field as strong a team as possible for tomorrow's third round game at the Hawthorns. Berahino has one of the most interesting stories of any of the players in England's development teams. His family were asylum seekers from Burundi who moved to Birmingham when their son was ten. He graduated to the England Under-17s last season and, still only 17, has played for West Bromwich's reserves this season.



Jack Colback
20, Sunderland

Will be 21 next month but is expected to make a breakthrough into the Sunderland first team this season. He spent last season at Ipswich Town on loan and came back to play in their last game against Wolves in which he was one of two players sent off. Came on as a substitute in the win over Colchester United in the second round of the Carling Cup. Like fellow academy product Jordan Henderson, he is tipped by the club to develop into a first-team player.

Comments