Capital One Cup: Six young players hoping to break through

Young Ones: Six future stars to watch in the Capital One Cup clashes

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 25 September 2012

Whether under its current name, or one of its many other
commercial conceptions, the Capital One Cup has always been used by Premier
League managers as a chance to give young players some valuable first team
experience.

And this week’s third round fixtures will surely be no
different, as the top teams give their big names a night off and field a few
fringe names.

Some you may have seen before, others maybe not, but here
are six talented young tyros who could feature in the competition this week.

Lucas Piazon
(Chelsea)

A very highly-regarded Brazilian attacker who has drawn
comparison to Kaka in some quarters, 18-year-old Piazon could feature for
Chelsea when they take on Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

The new Kaka Brazilian Lucas Piazon looks set to feature in Chelsea's plans after Roberto Di Matteo picked him for the Champions League squad

The new Kaka Brazilian Lucas Piazon looks set to feature in Chelsea's plans after Roberto Di Matteo picked him for the Champions League squad

Like many of his other compatriots, he possesses the
technical ability, intelligence and versatility to play either as a winger, a
central playmaker or on the shoulder of the striker.

Waiting in the wings at Chelsea for over a year now,
Piazon has yet to make a first team appearance, despite being called into the
senior squad on a few occasions and joining them for training regularly.

Roberto Di Matteo, already so impressed by the early
contributions of fellow Brazilian Oscar, clearly intends to play Piazon soon,
having called him up to his Champions League squad ahead of the out-of-favour
Florent Malouda.

Denis Suarez
(Manchester City)

Manchester City had to fend off determined competition
from Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea to secure the signature of
playmaker Suarez, who is just the latest young talent to emerge through the
ranks of the Spanish national team.

He featured in a League Cup tie against Wolves last
season and the 18-year-old can surely expect further tastes of first-team life
this time around, as City host Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

The deal that brought him to Eastlands from Celta Vigo was
worth 850,000 but that fee looks like a bargain for a player already drawing
flattering comparisons with David Silva.

Another possible inclusion in the City squad is Abdul
Razak, the 19-year-old central midfielder of Ivorian descent who looks as tough
as teak and is being mentored by Patrick Vieira.

Spanish gem: Manchester City fought off strong competition from Man United, Chelsea and Barcelona to sign Denis Suarez

Spanish gem: Manchester City fought off strong competition from Man United, Chelsea and Barcelona to sign Denis Suarez

Jesse Lingard
(Manchester United)

United were the original club to utilise the League Cup
to show off young players and Sir Alex Ferguson may stick to this policy for
the visit of Newcastle United on Wednesday.

Jesse Lingard is one of the brightest prospects in the
latest group of youngsters at Old Trafford and after figuring in some of United’s
pre-season matches, the 19-year-old has set himself the target of playing in
the League Cup this year.

Effective when running directly at defences and capable
of an assured finish, Warrington-born Lingard has shone for the reserves over the last couple
of seasons and was part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2011.

If he’s not able to figure in the League Cup, then it’s
likely he’ll be sent out on loan to gain the necessary experience this season.
But Lingard seems to be a ‘keeper’ for United, unlike Paul Pogba, Ravel
Morrison and Ezekiel Fryers who have moved elsewhere for their chance.

Target: Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has plans to feature regularly in the League Cup this season

Target: Manchester United's Jesse Lingard has plans to feature regularly in the League Cup this season

Ignasi Miquel
(Arsenal)

After the satisfaction of making his initial first-team
games last season, Arsenal defender Miquel will be hoping to keep up
appearances in the Capital One Cup this year.

The defender was rejected by his favourite club Barcelona
as a 15-year-old but had, even then, caught the eye of a number of leading
clubs including Arsenal, who made a straight cash offer without a trial.

Since then he has developed for club and country – he
played every minute during Spain’s Under-19 European Championship triumph – and
though his first team introduction against Liverpool came sooner than
anticipated, he did well in the unforgiving surroundings of the Premier League.

Captain of the reserves last season and with a handful of
first team appearances behind him, Miquel is clearly going to feature ever more
regularly in Arsene Wenger’s plans.

First team breakthrough: Ignasi Miquel of Arsenal is hoping for more starts

First team breakthrough: Ignasi Miquel of Arsenal is hoping for more starts

Ben Reeves
(Southampton)

Young midfielder who scored Southampton’s fourth goal in
the 4-1 win at Stevenage in the previous round and is likely to be included in
the squad for Tuesday’s home match with Sheffield Wednesday.

The 20-year-old started life as a left-back, but has
adapted into an attacking midfielder to suit his natural strengths as he
progressed through the Saints youth set-up.

With Nigel Adkins keen to give him an opportunity to
flourish in the first team, this could be breakthrough season for Reeves.

Ben Reeves of Southampton

Ryan Mason of Tottenham Hotspur

Capital gains: Ben Reeves (left) and Ryan Mason (right) are hoping the League Cup will provide them with an opportunity to flourish this season

Ryan Mason
(Tottenham Hotspur)

Another young, forward-thinking player awaiting his bow
in the first team, Mason made a brief appearance last week in the Europa League
against Lazio and will be hoping for a first start as Tottenham make the long
journey to Carlisle on Wednesday.

While still looking for his breakthrough at club level,
Mason has featured for England at Under-19 and Under-20 level, as well as the
likes of Yeovil Town and Doncaster Rovers in the Football League to gain
experience.

Another versatile young player – he can slot in right
across the midfield or further forward in support of a striker – Mason will be
hoping to convert that experience into first-team opportunities this season.