Kaide Gordon is set for his big Liverpool chance, Fulham’s rare diamond Fabio Carvalho can shine and Man City are ready to unleash Liam Delap: These are the 10 kids to watch out for in the FA Cup this weekend
- FA Cup action returns this weekend and a selection of starlets will get chances
- Top sides are expected to shuffle the pack, handing out minutes and debuts
- Kaide Gordon looks prepped for Liverpool while United may field Shola Shoretire
- Sportsmail presents a list of youngsters who are worth keeping an eye on
As FA Cup action returns for the third round, and with that the entrance of the Premier League giants, so too does the prospect of seeing unpolished gems make their first tentative steps on the big stage.
With teams across the football pyramid in action this weekend, managers up and down the country are poised to throw down the gauntlet to the youngsters and challenge them to make a searing impression.
Around the grounds the backs of many shirts will be sporting rather large squad numbers, as academy pupils and youth signings strut out in the senior ranks with big hopes of making their name.
But who are the players to watch, and which are most likely to be trusted by their clubs to go out and do the business? Sportsmail takes a closer look…
Liverpool chiefs believe Kaide Gordon will be the next star to break into the senior team
Plays: Swindon Town (away)
He may for some time have been known as ‘the son of Rory, the bloke with the huge throw-in’, but Liam Delap is very much writing his own chapters now.
The striker has a remarkable record in the youth ranks at City and has been chomping at the bit for quite some time.
Liam Delap has lots of admirers at Manchester City but wants to claim a first-team place now
Delap, 18, currently finds himself rather intensely linked with Southampton, who appear desperate to bring him on board, though City are hardly flush when it comes to options for out-and-out centre forwards.
The youngster therefore has a two-fold opportunity to dazzle. Play well and he could seriously increase his value within the City hierarchy.
Simultaneously, putting himself on the map with a goal-laden FA Cup display will certainly not harm any chances of a lucrative move away.
Whether Pep Guardiola will hand him a starting berth, however, remains to be seen.
Levi Colwill – Huddersfield
Plays: Burnley (A)
The 18-year-old is a permanent fixture in the Terriers side and gaining quite some following.
Dynamic and versatile, Colwill is catching the eye most weekends and showing just how to benefit from a loan move, after making the temporary switch from parent club Chelsea.
The teenager is bidding to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Reece James and Mason Mount, plying his trade in the Championship while learning the fine art of rough and tumble in senior English football.
Levi Colwill (right) is catching the eye most weekends at Huddersfield, on loan from Chelsea
With 20 Championship appearances to his name and an outing in the Carabao Cup, Colwill has one goal and one assist to date.
Huddersfield sit sixth, very much in the mix for promotion, and the Stamford Bridge loanee has played a starring role.
Proving himself on each stage is something Colwill appears to relish, and there’s no time like the present to produce a commanding in football’s oldest cup competition.
Brennan Johnson – Nottingham Forest
Plays: Arsenal (H)
Many eyes will be on young Brennan Johnson, particularly those of the Brentford hierarchy.
The Premier League newcomers are hotly linked with a move for the exciting winger, who is quickly showing the kind of potential which could see him move up to English football’s top flight.
Forest would like to keep Johnson, 20, for their play-off push this season, but a sizeable bid from one of the Premier League clubs could convince them to let their academy graduate go.
Brennan Johnson is a man in form and courting the attention of several Premier League sides
Thus, there is no time like the present.
Football agents these days are not naive or shy individuals. Brennan’s representatives will have told him in no uncertain terms that a dazzling performance in the FA Cup will do wonders.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham are also monitoring the 20-year-old, who spent last season racking up 10 goals and 14 assists in League One with Lincoln City.
Interestingly, he is also very much in form. This season he has played 25 games – scoring five in all competitions, including two goals and an assist in his last four games.
Kaide Gordon – Liverpool
Plays: Shrewsbury (H)
Liverpool have struggled to contain their excitement with the former Derby County diamond, after successfully managing to prise him away from Wayne Rooney’s side.
Privately, in the inner sanctum of Anfield, many Liverpool chiefs feel Gordon will soon blaze a similar trail to fellow youngster Harvey Elliott, who broke into Jurgen Klopp’s first team this season before a gruesome ankle dislocation at Leeds.
Gordon oozes confidence and sophistication when on the pitch, and plays with a composure beyond his years.
Liverpool have put the 17-year-old on a bulking-up programme in order to facilitate his transition to senior football, and an outing against Shrewsbury at Anfield seems almost guaranteed.
Given that Liverpool have been struggling with a chaotic combination of injuries, Covid absentees and players leaving for AFCON, there is no time like the present to seize a unique opportunity with one of Europe’s leading clubs.
Tyrese Campbell – Stoke
Plays: Leyton Orient (H)
At 22 Tyrese Campbell is very much getting into the stride of his professional career.
The forward has been in the Stoke set-up for several years and has been carving out quite the reputation for himself.
Three goals in 15 appearances this season is not exactly the most ringing of endorsements, though Campbell continues to be linked with Premier League outfit Newcastle as they search for a forward to replace the injured Callum Wilson.
Tyrese Campbell is very much getting into the stride of his professional career with Stoke
Whether the links contain much substance, one thing is for sure: Campbell has the opportunity to place himself in the shop window.
Stoke welcome Leyton Orient to the Potteries, in a fixture which they feel is very much winnable.
As always, of course, victories cannot arrive without goals.
Over to you, Tyrese.
Charlie Patino – Arsenal
Plays: Nottingham Forest (A)
The Patino secret is no more, after the teenager came on for his debut against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup quarter final.
Much had been made of how the Gunners fought off a host of elite rivals to secure the signature of the talented youngster.
Patino, sporting the No 87, came on as a substitute and made the magic happen.
Charlie Patino made a huge impression after scoring on his Arsenal debut last month
His finish was cool and composed, and fellow wonderkid Bukayo Saka made a large show of celebrating with him in the dressing room afterwards.
Much is expected of the 18-year-old, but the most pressing matter right now is getting him out onto the pitch for that all important senior experience.
If he is again trusted by Mikel Arteta for the late kick-off away trip to Nottingham Forest then make sure to keep eyes glued to his progress.
Tyrhys Dolan – Blackburn
Plays: Wigan Athletic (A)
With four goals and three assists from 22 matches this season, 20-year-old Dolan is progressing nicely, yet Rovers are still keen to see more.
There is a widely held opinion at Ewood that the winger could soon be set to light the blue touch paper, adding consistency to his game on a weekly basis.
The youngster was recently absent from the senior ranks prior to Christmas due to a positive Covid-19 test.
Blackburn and their youngster Tyrhys Dolan travel to local rivals Wigan for an FA Cup duel
Now, back in the ranks, he is expected to perform.
Manager Tony Mowbray has placed plenty of faith in Dolan, and is said to see the starlet as a personal development project.
The showdown with local rivals Wigan will be attempt number five under Mowbray to make it beyond the third round having exited at this stage of the competition in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Shola Shoretire – Manchester United
Plays: Aston Villa (H)
Manchester United may have plucked out a fellow Premier League side as their opponents at this early stage in the FA Cup, but don’t be fooled into thinking interim boss Ralf Rangnick won’t give the kids a chance.
The veteran German boss has championed youth stars throughout his career, and was part of the hugely successful path of youth progression at RB Leipzig.
Rangnick, in his fleeting time at United’s Carrington base, has already spent many hours sifting through footage of the youth stars and watching them up close.
Shoretire, among others, have been drafted in to train with the first team and it appears opportunity is very much on the horizon.
Shola Shoretire is poised to be handed an opportunity to impress new boss Ralf Rangnick
Shoretire has largely gone under the radar since his FA Youth Cup exposure at Old Trafford in early 2020 but is still only 17 and serving his apprenticeship at junior level.
Along with Hannibal Mejbri and Anthony Elanga, Shoretire is seen as an unpolished diamond who United can bring on to a dazzling finish.
In February 2021 Shoretire set a club record as he donned the highest shirt number ever worn by a United player in a competitive men’s first-team match, making his senior debut in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Old Trafford in the Premier League – at the time he worse No 74.
Since, he has been kept largely under wraps. Now, the FA Cup could provide a glowing opportunity, though Steven Gerrard’s Villa side will be far from a pushover.
Fabio Carvalho – Fulham
Plays: Bristol City (A)
A bag of tricks and making a lot of noise in west London, 19-year-old Fabio Carvalho looks to be on the fast track to becoming a fans’ favourite.
Rising through the ranks with the Cottagers, Carvalho is now breaking through into the first team at Craven Cottage and does not look to be out of his depth.
With 13 Championship appearances this season, the youngster has provided four goals and an assist.
Rising through the ranks at Fulham, Carvalho is now breaking through into the first team
The Portuguese starlet has recently rejected a new contract at the club, and potential suitors are already queuing up.
For Carvalho, if he is to move on, the FA Cup clash with Bristol City would be an ideal place to showcase those burgeoning abilities and the many skills he has in his arsenal.
West Ham, Leeds and Norwich are all monitoring his progress with eagle eyes, while Portuguese giants Porto are expressing a huge interest in their countryman.
Jayden Bogle – Sheffield United
Plays: Wolves (A)
Bogle is another of England’s young footballers looking to make a mark and shape himself into a very modern-day attacking full-back.
Deployed in a wing-back slot ahead of a wide back-three base, the 21-year-old has been instructed by boss Paul Heckingbottom to get forward and help engineer attack – essentially putting in a shift at both ends of the pitch.
Bogle has 14 appearances under his belt this season so far, with a goal and an assist against his name.
Jayden Bogle is slowing being crafted into a modern day attacking wing-back
A strong relationship on and off the field has between struck up between the starlet and forward Rhian Brewster, who the Blades still hold huge hopes for following his £25million move from Liverpool, which is yet to live up to its billing.
Bogle holds ambitions to play at the highest level and a stern test will arrive in the FA Cup showdown with Premier League outfit Wolves.
The match being at Molineux, the youngster is faced with hugging the touchline in front of a partisan home crowd who know their side are expected to progress to the next round.
Quite the challenge, but one which could well produce a sublime performance from Bogle if he is able to step up.
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