From David Beckham and Paul Pogba to John Terry and Cesc Fabregas, the Carabao Cup has allowed young and upcoming starlets to showcase their ability.
Stretching back almost six decades and steeped in history, the competition presents an opportunity to play on the biggest stage of all.
We take a look back at five of the more recent names to announce themselves in the League Cup…
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold fulfilled a boyhood dream of representing his hometown Club when the full-back made his bow for the Reds in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur to reach the Quarter-Final of the League Cup back in October 2016.
Since then, the now-24-year-old went on establish himself as a regular in the side, making two further appearances in the competition that season before making his Premier League debut later in December. And he lifted the trophy last year for the first time with Liverpool, overcoming Chelsea on penalties in the Final at Wembley.
Four-time winner Phil Foden went as far as naming his dog ‘Carabao’ as a nod to his success in the competition with Manchester City in the early stages of his career. It was in the Carabao Cup that a teenage Foden opened his account for the Sky Blues, netting his first professional goal in a 3-0 win over Oxford United in September 2018.
He claimed four consecutive scalps with City, as the attacker was presented with the Alan Hardaker Trophy for his Man of the Match performance in the 2020 showpiece against Aston Villa.
Fulham’s youngest-ever player at 15 years and 174 days to feature in the League Cup, Harvey Elliott first burst onto the scene in a 3-1 victory over Millwall in September 2018. The midfielder then turned out for Liverpool in the competition the following term, becoming the Reds’ youngest-ever player to start a fixture.
Elliott, who won the competition for the first time in 2021/22, also represented Blackburn Rovers in the competition upon signing for the Lancashire team on loan for the duration of the 2020/21 campaign.
Despite suffering a 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town back in August 2016, Charlton Athletic’s Round One loss to the Robins saw Addicks Academy graduate Ezri Konsa break into the first team, making his debut for the South Londoners in the competition.
The defender, who earned a move to Brentford from Charlton in 2018 before signing for Aston Villa after a single season with the Bees, finished as runner-up in 2018/19 when Villa suffered defeat to Manchester City in the 2020 Final.
A teenage Jude Bellingham became Birmingham City’s youngest-ever player when the England starlet first pulled on a Blues shirt in a 3-0 loss to Portsmouth in August 2019 as the West Midlands team bowed out of the Carabao Cup.
But Bellingham, who has gone on to establish himself in Gareth Southgate’s side and make the switch to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, praised the role that the competition played in his development.