‘Next Saka’ set for Arsenal first-team involvement

LONDON, ENGLAND: Amario Cozier-Duberry of Arsenal avoids Marley Ake of Juventus during the friendly between Arsenal and Juventus at Emirates Stadium on December 17, 2022. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

After impressing in Arsenal’s mid-season friendlies, particularly against Juventus, Amario Cozier-Duberry has started to find himself involved with the senior side more often.

The winger has made the bench for Arsenal’s last two Premier League matchday squads, and his absence from the Arsenal u21 game on Monday suggests he could be set for involvement again on Wednesday.

With the Europa League (and their slightly larger squad limits) set to return soon, more matchday opportunities are very possible in the coming weeks.

At the very least, the winger continues to be involved in training regularly with the senior side.

When dropping back down, Cozier-Duberry has primarily been involved with the u18s in their FA Youth Cup run lately. He has four goals and two assists in his three games in the competition, helping Arsenal to the quarter-final stage.

“I really want to win the FA Youth Cup, and we are buzzing after the win against Watford,” Cozier-Duberry told Arsenal.

“I was nervous when I stepped up for the first penalty, but I just knew I had to pick a spot and commit to it. The next game is at the Emirates, and I’m really excited to be back there in front of our supporters.”

It’s easy to draw comparisons between Cozier-Duberry and Bukayo Saka.

Both are left-footed right-wingers who can cut inside or beat you for pace around the outside. Both were seemingly lightweight when breaking onto the scene but deceptively strong on the ball and difficult to knock off it without committing a foul.

Amario Cozier-Duberry scoring for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)
Amario Cozier-Duberry scoring for the Arsenal u18s (Photo via Arsenal Academy on Twitter)

Like Saka, Cozier-Duberry can score or assist, and he takes responsibility when others might hide.

Perhaps it’s no surprise the 17-year-old named Saka among the players he’s hoping to emulate.

“Being at Arsenal is a dream come true, but I know that I’m in a very privileged position, so my mindset is to stay focused and strive to become the next Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah, or Emile Smith-Rowe,” Cozier-Duberry said.

“These are guys I look up to and they’re an example that there is a pathway there to the first team from Hale End.”

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