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...

Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: 22 Sep, 2009

Academy man Watt opens the scoring before Vela seals the deal in the second half.

Wojciech Szczesny: Arsenal’s young Polish keeper had already been making a name for himself at reserve level before making his debut here. He didn’t have a quiet evening, being called into action twice to deny Simon Cox and Robert Koren. A couple of months later he would go to Brentford on loan and enjoy great success, before returning to Arsenal and establishing himself as the club’s No.1.

Sanchez Watt: It was 18-year-old Watt who grabbed the opener on his debut after Carlos Vela’s shot had been parried by Dean Kiely. The striker came into this season off the back of a successful FA Youth Cup-winning run, but his career stalled somewhat after this. A succession of loan spells brought nothing but false hope and this summer he signed for Colchester United on a permanent basis.

Gilles Sunu: Another FA Youth Cup winner who offered signs of encouragement with an energetic display. Like Watt, though, his Arsenal career fell by the wayside. After a couple of loans at Derby and French side Lorient he joined the latter on a permanent basis in 2011. He’s starting to settle in France, alongside former Gunner Jeremie Aliadiere. 


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