One of the great things about The League Cup, from a big club’s point of view, is that it provides the opportunity to blood some of the new recruits who aren’t getting too many minutes in the league.
In this respect, Manchester United fans will be licking their lips this evening at the propect of seeing more of Nick Powell and a first glimpse of their new striker, Ángelo José Henríquez Iturra. Little was known about the Chilean forward before he joined the club and, at just 18, he will still be a work in progress. But, as Sir Alex Ferguson said recently, Henriquez already has a great physique for a young lad and, with almost as many goals as appearances under his belt, he may get more minutes than expected as the season progresses.
Certainly the youngsters will be busting a gut to win tonight because an extended run in the competition can only be good news for them. Fergie has stayed true to his policy of retaining the kids even in the latter stages of The League Cup and, with so many exciting fledglings now on the books, there is no reason to think that he will play his hand differently this season.
We have already seen a glimpse of Nick Powell’s potential and Manchester United will hope that he continues the promising start that he has made at his new club. But tonight the stage could be set for the introduction of another Old Trafford star of the future.