The Carabao Cup so often provides big Premier League clubs the opportunity to blood their academy products on the verge of breaking into the first team. So with the competition's third round getting underway on Tuesday, and England's biggest clubs joining the fray, we take a look at the most promising youngsters looking to make their mark with the Big Six in the League Cup this season.
You can stream selected Carabao Cup games live on ESPN+ throughout the season.
Gabriel Martinelli | 18 | Forward | Arsenal
Given that Arsenal remain thin on striking backup, it would do no harm for Martinelli to make a splash in the tie against Nottingham Forest (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), Tuesday 2.45 p.m. ET) . Big things are expected from the 18-year-old forward, and that is borne out by the fact that, rather than be sent back out on loan after joining from Ituano in July, he has immediately been involved with the first-team squad. He made his Premier League debut in the closing stages of the win at Newcastle in August and will surely be given the nod to start on Tuesday. "I got a little shy because I only saw [my new teammates] on television, on video games," he said of his first few days in north London, but this week he can make massive strides towards sharing a stage with them.
Charlie Brown | 20 | Forward | Chelsea
While Tammy Abraham has been making the headlines in Chelsea's first team, there are those who think Brown could be even better. The striker, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Monday, joined from Ipswich's academy in 2016 and has barely stopped scoring since. Last season he was top scorer in the UEFA Youth League with 11 goals -- five more than his closest competition -- and has stepped up against senior opponents too, netting five times in the Football League Trophy in the past year. Brown is left footed and, while a rapier-like finisher, also adept at linking the play and dropping deep. Grimsby, who Chelsea face on Wednesday (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), 2.45 p.m. ET) , would appear the perfect opponents for a long-awaited senior debut.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis | 17 | Defender | Manchester City
With City so short of centre-back options, it would be a major boost if the 17-year-old Harwood-Bellis put in a commanding display against Championship high-fliers Preston (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), Tuesday 2.45 p.m. ET) . Pep Guardiola confirmed on Saturday that he is now a member of the first-team squad and appears to have been impressed by what he has seen so far. "He is aggressive, he wins duels, he pays attention," Guardiola said of the Stockport-born defender, who is also composed and confident on the ball. "From now on, he will train with us. Whether he will play or not, we'll see." Harwood-Bellis, who is believed to have impressed greatly during Manchester City's preseason trip to Asia, may well get the call to do it all again at Deepdale.
Troy Parrott | 17 | Forward | Tottenham
Parrott has set tongues wagging excitedly in recent months and looks likely to feature in Spurs' trip to League Two side Colchester United (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), Tuesday 2.45 p.m. ET) . The forward has made waves with a number of sublime goals of late, particularly a staggering scooped effort for Ireland's Under-21s earlier this month. Real Madrid and Juventus are among those credited with an interest in the 17-year-old, but Mauricio Pochettino has big plans for the academy product and a debut this week looks certain. "We cannot put his name in the spotlight every day because we're not going to help him by doing that," the Spurs manager said recently. Patience is definitely going to be vital for Parrott's development but he is staking an irresistible claim.
Rhian Brewster | 19 | Forward | Liverpool
Brewster's name may already sound familiar and that is because he has been trailed as one of Liverpool and England's most exciting young strikers for several years. His progress in the past year and three quarters has been hampered by serious injuries to his ankle and knee that he sustained in an Under-23 match against Manchester City; he recovered well enough to make the bench for the Champions League semifinal epic against Barcelona and then the final against Spurs, so the esteem in which Jurgen Klopp holds him appears clear enough. Having been courted by Bundesliga sides over the summer -- Borussia Monchengladbach were among those said to be interested -- he opted to stay put and should finally get his reward in the form of a first-team debut when Liverpool face MK Dons (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), Wednesday 2.45 p.m. ET) . The signs are that he will be worth the wait.
James Garner | 18 | Midfielder | Manchester United
Such is United's current form that anyone who impresses in the local derby against League One side Rochdale (Stream live on ESPN+ (US Only), Wednesday 3 p.m. ET) could find themselves in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Premier League team before they know it. Garner certainly has a chance to push on this season given their midfield issues, and the 18-year-old already has a modicum of first-team experience. He came on as a late substitute in the Premier League win at Crystal Palace in February and impressed during preseason, heightening hopes that he can follow Mason Greenwood into the senior spotlight. Garner, who has been with United for a decade, has exceptional vision and passing range while looking happy to get stuck in, too. He has captained England's Under-17s and there is genuine hope that he will be a future leader for United, too. A strong showing on Wednesday could be the kind of green shoot his club are desperate for.