From Vela to Van Persie, Sunu to Cesc: Arsene Wenger's League Cup debutants

From Van Persie to Vela; Spicer to Sunu ("who?!" you cry), the League Cup has long been Arsene Wenger's fine-tuning laboratory for blooding Arsenal's prodigous stars of tomorrow. 

There's been mixed success, of course, but who can doubt the usefulness of English football's third-favourite competition to the Gunners' fastidious Frenchman? 

So here's a glance at some of the fresh-faced youngsters to have made their names in the red and white on frosty Tuesday nights...

West Brom 0-2 Arsenal: 24 Oct, 2006

Another away win for Wenger's starlets, this time at The Hawthorns courtesy of Jeremie Aliadiere's double either side of half time. 

Denilson: Born in the favelas of Sao Paolo, like many Brazilian footballers it was football saved him from poverty as his hometown side offered him a professional contract. Part of the squad that won the 2005 Copa de Libertadores and FIFA Club World Club, he moved to London looking for first-team football in a £3.4 million deal. Made 96 appearances for in north London before the emergence of Jack Wilshere curtailed his playing time. After two loan spells with his old side he returned to Sao Paolo this year in attempt to break into Brazil's World Cup squad.

Armand Traore: An early injury to Emmanuel Adebayor paved the way for Traore's Arsenal debut after 24 minutes of this game. The future Senegal international impressed enough to start the following matches against Everton and Liverpool, both semi-final legs against Tottenham and then the final against Chelsea (which the Gunners lost 2-1). After a loan spell at Portsmouth in 2008/09 Traore returned to the Emirates as a surprise first choice with injuries to both Gael Clichy and Kieran Gibbs. It didn't last, though - the former France youth international was shipped out temporarily to Juventus before QPR snapped him up permanently in summer 2011. 

Mark Randall: Just a cameo for the Milton Keynes-born yougnster here, but it would be the first in a string of appearances for Arsenal's first team. The midfielder played against Everton in the next round and earned two league appearances sandwiched in between a loan spell at Burnley, but it was his Champions League appearances against FC Twente and Porto that will really stick in the memory (for Randall, at least). It wasn't to be in the long-term, though - he later joined MK Dons and Rotherham on loan, then signed permanently for Chesterfield before leaving for Ascoli this summer. 


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