There have been debuts, first goals and first starts for a number of Young Pro’s. From a youthful Liverpool side drawing with League Two side Exeter City to Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek notching his first senior goal, this weekend has been one to remember for a number of players.
Jurgen Klopp’s first taste of the magic of the FA Cup ended in a 2-2 draw against Exeter as he fielded the youngest Liverpool XI in history on Friday night. The German manager handed five players their Liverpool debut, with Tiago Ilori, Kevin Stewart and Ryan Kent all starting and Joe Maguire and Sheyi Ojo coming on to make their senior bows.
19-year-old striker Jerome Sinclair scored his first goal for the Reds in the first half and midfielder Brad Smith’s equaliser was also his first goal for the Anfield outfit.
There was a taste of more FA Cup action on Saturday as the impressive Alex Iwobi gained his second start for Arsenal against Sunderland who had England U21 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford making his debut. There was another debut in the 3-1 Arsenal victory, with 17-year-old French youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide replacing Joel Campbell for the Gunners.
Manchester United youngster Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made his second start for the Old Trafford club in their dull 1-0 victory over Sheffield United. Manchester United forward Ashley Fletcher on-loan at Barnsley enjoyed a dream professional debut at Oakwell, scoring five minutes into his second half arrival with a thumping header in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-final against Fleetwood Town.
On Sunday the rewarding weekend continued for a number of Young Pro’s as Chelsea youngster Loftus-Cheek scored his side’s second goal in a 2-0 FA Cup win over League One strugglers Scunthorpe United. The 19-year-old steered home Cesar Azpilicueta’s low cross in the second-half to bring much joy to owner Roman Abramovich who has invested millions into Chelsea’s impressive academy.
Tottenham Hotspurs and Leicester City played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane with teenager Demari Gray making his Foxes debut after his £3.5 million from Birmingham City last week. Gray linked up well on the left with young full-back Ben Chilwell who was making only his second Leicester appearance. Josh Onomah enjoyed a second start for Spurs while young midfielder Harry Winks was rewarded with a place on the first-team bench.