Ox, Wilshere, Shaw, Foden, Souare with something to prove in Carabao Cup
ESPN FC picks out five players to watch in this week's third round of the Carabao Cup ...
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain -- Liverpool
After heading to Merseyside on transfer deadline day for £35 million, Oxlade-Chamberlain is still yet to start a match for his new club. And during his 67 minutes so far, he has not played the central midfield role he left London in search of. He even ended his first Champions League appearance for Liverpool at right-back, but he might be granted his desired role on Tuesday night at Leicester.
"We want to use him and to prepare him also," said Jurgen Klopp on Monday. "It is all good from this side at the moment."
Klopp has other players with something to prove as well. Liverpool are also expected to give starting roles for Andy Robertson at left-back, as the Scot seeks to challenge Alberto Moreno as first-choice. Dominic Solanke should feature in the forward line, perhaps with Daniel Sturridge, after the latter's struggles in last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Burnley.
Jack Wilshere -- Arsenal
On Wednesday night against Doncaster Rovers, Wilshere, while making his first start for Arsenal since May 2015, might recognise his younger self in Reiss Nelson.
The 17-year-old winger made his first-team debut as a late sub against Cologne next week, and is the player Gunners fans are waiting to see on Wednesday night. It will be almost nine years to the day that a 16-year-old Wilshere scored his first ever Arsenal goal in a 6-0 League Cup defeat of Sheffield United.
At 25, with his contract running out at the end of this season, Wilshere might perhaps show he can be useful in central midfield to Arsene Wenger, but he is most likely marking out time until his departure.
Luke Shaw -- Manchester United
So far, Jose Mourinho has tried three different players at left-back, with Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young adopting a position they were not bought by United to play in. Among Mourinho's senior squad, Shaw is the only natural left-back, but player and manager have history between them.
Following a series of public remarks, Mourinho was sardonic when Shaw limped off after nine minutes of a 1-1 draw with Swansea in April. "I am expecting a very big injury," said Mourinho, and so it proved, with Shaw missing the entirety of preseason with an ankle injury. He returned to training only last month, and Burton Albion on Wednesday will be his first appearance of the season.
Mourinho appreciates Shaw's talent; he tried to sign the then-teenager for Chelsea in the summer of 2014 before Shaw joined United from Southampton for £30 million. He has also frequently been exasperated by Shaw's fitness problems but there is definitely a vacancy on United's left flank to fight for.
Phil Foden -- Manchester City
These days, the League Cup is not as flushed with youthful hopefuls as it once was, since Premier League squads are now usually so deep in experienced, imported talent that require game time. Manchester City might buck that trend by including a couple of teenagers in Spanish attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz and Foden.
The slight, Stockport-born 17-year-old is seen as the brightest button in City's luxuriously funded youth set-up, someone whose skill set has reminded learned observers of a young Paul Scholes in terms of his passing range, but with an extra burst of pace.
After Jadon Sancho departed for Borussia Dortmund in August, City are desperate for the Etihad Campus to have a high-honours graduate and Foden looks the young man most likely to achieve that, having starred in preseason and been on the bench three times in the Premier League.
Pape Souare -- Crystal Palace
Pointless and goalless Crystal Palace, already on their second manager of the season, take on Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night. Palace are already in a position where they must concentrate on the Premier League, even if victory can lift spirits. This fixture's main function is giving Roy Hodgson a less pressurised chance to see his players in action after Saturday's 1-0 loss to Southampton.
It will, however, be a good news story for one of Palace's players. On Sept. 11 last year, left-back Souare was involved in a motorway crash in which he suffered a broken jaw and a badly broken leg. It was initially feared he would never play again, but the Senegalese is back and available.
John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.