Chelsea were looking to bounce back from a dismal 2-0 loss to Brentford at Stamford Bridge.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino knows the League Cup is an opportunity for silverware and lined up £106 million man Enzo Fernandez alongside Lesley Ugochukwu and Conor Gallagher in midfield.
Despite the meaty Chelsea starting line-up, it was 19-year-old Blackburn star Adam Wharton who caught the eye in the opening exchanges.
The young midfielder broke through at Ewood Park last season under Jon Dahl Tomasson and did not look out of place trying to progress the ball against the Premier League side.
Wharton impressed against Chelsea, completing 43 out of 55 passes (78%) and seven long balls from ten attempted. He also won five out of seven duels and made four interceptions and four tackles.
Wharton excels at progressing the ball, playing well-timed passes through the lines to get his team going.
The Blackburn-born midfielder is also adept at shielding the ball with his frame and knows when to carry it forward.
Off the ball, he shows incredible positioning, recording 1.93 interceptions.
However, it is important to note that Wharton is not the finished product. The tools are there, and he is a promising prospect, but he needs to be developed.
With Chelsea fans already taking notice of his talents, top clubs will have him on their radar and a big move could be on the cards soon.
If big clubs come circling, Wharton must find a manager who trusts him immediately and will allow him to fulfil his immense talent.
A move to Chelsea and Manchester United could stunt his growth, while Everton are too unstable.
We look at a few destinations Wharton should be looking towards.
Newcastle have been linked with Wharton, who made 18 Championship appearances last season, bagging two goals and one assist.
There were rumours that the Magpies had scouted him and wanted to sign him over the summer, but he was not keen on the chance.
Newcastle could consider returning for him in the January transfer window following the ban placed on midfielder Sandro Tonali for illegal betting.
They have a hole in their midfield and could turn to Wharton to fill it. With Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, he will have a patient coach and mentor ready to nurture him into a world-beater.
Brighton & Hove Albion
It is no secret that Brighton are a hotbed for promising footballers, and their scouting prowess has seen them pick up Wharton on their radar.
He could fit nicely into Roberto De Zerbi’s side as a controller, pairing with a more defensively sound midfielder for balance.
Brighton give their talents room to flourish, and Wharton would benefit from their free-flowing attacking system.
However, he may not fancy heading to the south coast, given he has strong roots in the north.
The Eagles have Will Hughes, Cheick Docoure and Jefferson Lerma as their first-choice midfield set-up.
However, they could benefit from the craft Wharton would bring to their midfield options.
The Blackburn midfielder could play understudy to Hughes and Lerma while gaining precious top-flight experience to kick on and overtake them in the pecking order.
Palace manager Roy Hodgson could help develop Wharton into a brilliant Premier League midfielder before a bigger club comes calling.
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