Monday 23 October 2017

12 to remember

Sam Wallace looks at the next generation aiming to take centre stage in the Carling Cup

CHUKS ANEKE (17 years old)


Turned 17 in July, when he signed his first professional contract, and 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 U-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.



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. And Arsene 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 you must show you have the hunger and quality." A 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.


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. 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. The Blues host MK Dons tonight.



Made his first-team debut against MSK Zilina in the Champions League. A cultured midfielder who played in the Chelsea U-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.



Still only 16 but another player named in the England U-19 squad. Everton's start to the season means that David Moyes will be eager not to lose at Brentford. 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. Behind Jack Rodwell at the moment but destined to come though to the first team during his teenage years.



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 aged 16 years and 250 days -- Liverpool's youngest ever first-team player. Like Moyes, Roy Hodgson will be keen to avoid embarrassment in the third round against Northampton at home. But Robinson is among the best U-18 players at the club and has a good chance of being part of the squad for the game.



Signed from Charlton 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).


Manchester City

A left-back from Galway who has played for Ireland'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 three years ago. He played in the City U-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.



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 out rather than keep them at the club if they are not in first team contention -- they do not operate a reserve team.



Tipped by Harry Redknapp yesterday to play a part against Arsenal tonight. 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, 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.


West Brom

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 10. He graduated to the England U-17s last season and, still only 17, has played for West Brom's reserves this season.



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 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 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. (© Independent News Service)

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