Omari Hutchinson could be in line to make his Chelsea debut tonight against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
The Lowdown: Tonight’s tie
The Blues head to the Etihad for the third round of the Carabao Cup looking to make inroads in a cup they’ve previously won five times.
It could prove to be a welcome distraction from their Premier League struggles and act as an opportunity for Graham Potter to tinker with his team alongside the inclusion of a handful of youngsters, one of the most exciting of those being Hutchinson, 19.
The Latest: Hutchinson in the squad
Potter confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the young dynamo is part of the Blues’ travelling squad.
When asked whether we can expect to see the former Arsenal youngster, the 47-year-old said:
“He’s in the squad. Lewis Hall is in the squad. They’ve impressed, They’ve been training with us for a while now, and we’ve got some good quality young players we just need to nurture and take the right steps with. They will be in the squad and involved.”
The Redhill-born talent was asked not to report for international duty with Jamaica to be a part of the senior setup.
The Verdict: Ready for the occasion
The Carabao Cup has always been a good staging ground for integrating new talent into the first-team picture, and tonight that opportunity should be given to Hutchinson who has been tremendous in the Premier League 2 this season, registering nine goal contributions from 11 games.
He’s also earned his stripes in the EFL Trophy with Chelsea’s U21 side, starting all three of the group games, including picking up an incredible match-high rating of 9.4 against Leyton Orient where he scored and assisted twice in the 3-2 win, so far taking every opportunity in his stride.
City will obviously prove a different kettle of fish, especially at the Etihad Stadium, where they have a flawless win record this season, bagging an astonishing 29 goals in seven games.
However, the tie could pit Hutchinson against the Citizen’s right-back Rico Lewis, who scored in their 3-1 Champions League win over Sevilla, the 17-year-old may well feature against the four-time England youth international who has been deployed at left-wing this season, potentially making for an intriguing personal battle.