Carabao Cup: Dominic Solanke and Angel Gomes are hoping for chance
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 19/09/17 10:03pm
There is no shortage of young English talent around, as shown by the success of England’s age-group sides in the summer, but getting the opportunity at the big clubs can be tricky.
With managers under immense pressure to deliver Premier League results, the Carabao Cup can be a crucial competition for youngsters as they look to seize the chance to impress.
Here, we pick out three young talents who will be looking to make an impact this week…
Solanke was named player of the tournament in England's Under-20 World Cup win during a summer in which he made the move from Chelsea to Liverpool in search of more opportunities. He has had some involvement too, making his Premier League debut in the win over Crystal Palace before appearing twice more as Jurgen Klopp's back-up striker.
Solanke, who was described by his former Chelsea coach Adi Viveash as "like Teddy Sheringham but quicker" in a recent interview, is still waiting for his first senior start in English football but that could well come on Tuesday night. The forward is tipped to be in the line-up when the Reds visit Leicester live on Sky Sports.
"He's exciting," said Klopp on the eve of the game. "I'm really happy to have him around. He's a wonderful kid. He takes the minutes as an opportunity." With Liverpool in Champions League action, there will be rotation at Anfield this season. If the 20-year-old can produce a strong performance this week then more chances could be on the way.
Arsenal fans were abuzz about Nelson's debut in the 3-1 win over Koln in the Europa League last week. Having already enjoyed a brief cameo in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea in August, the 17-year-old came on as a late substitute for Theo Walcott on Thursday and looked remarkably composed in possession, prompting attacks and following his passes.
Arsenal's £52m summer signing Alexandre Lacazette liked what he saw, although he was not surprised by Nelson's performance. "He has already impressed me during pre-season," said the France international striker. "It's great to see what he's been doing for the Under-23s, his stats are very good and he's performing very well."
Nelson can expect another opportunity to impress on Wednesday night when the Gunners host League One side Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup. Arsene Wenger has often used the competition to develop young players and in Nelson there is already a strong feeling that Arsenal have someone who can make an impact in the Premier League too.
Gomes missed the European Under-17 Championships in the summer due to injury but there is just as much excitement surrounding the Manchester United attacking midfielder. In coming on for Wayne Rooney against Crystal Palace last season, the 17-year-old became the youngest player to represent United since Duncan Edwards and will be anxious for another chance.
Gomes is Nani's godson, while his father Gil Gomes played for Portugal Under-21s, but the teenager himself is Salford born and bred. He has been likened to Paul Scholes, although it is Ronaldinho whom he regards as his idol. It is all enough to get Manchester United fans buzzing anticipating the emergence of another genuine star from the club's famed academy.
Jose Mourinho takes the cups seriously but a home tie against Burton Albion is a chance to rotate and Gomes will be ready if needed. "Of course, it would be a great experience to get a few more minutes in the first team under my belt at some point," he said in the summer. "But I'll just try to kick on in the Under-18s and Under-23s and learn a lot of things."
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