Amario Cozier-Duberry: The Saka Regen in the Arsenal Ranks

Revant Maheshwari
By Revant Maheshwari
6 Min Read

Arsenal’s Hale End is responsible for a myriad of young stars breaking through. From Tony Adams, David O’Leary, Cesc Fabregas and Ashley Cole to new generation big-guns: Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, the club’s youth system unequivocally develops and rewards young talent.

Another work-in-progress of the system is 18-year-old Amario Cozier-Duberry. The versatile Englishman joined the club’s academy in 2019 and has been poised to be another example of Hale End producing top-tier talent.

Amario Cozier-Duberry – How it Started:

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A Gooner since childhood, Amario played for Sunday League side Chettle Court Rangers FC in London during his primary school days. After his club won an Under-15 tournament, he was offered a 10-week trial at Arsenal.

The aftermath of the trial saw the player be officially integrated at Hale End for 2 years following which he was called up to join the first team at London Colney. Amario displayed his versatality as he featured regularly as both: an attacking midfielder and a wing-back, something similar to the journey taken by Bukayo Saka.

In 2020-21 at 16 years of age, he made his Under-18 Premier League debut late into the season, making 3 appearances in which he bagged a goal and an assist each. The following 2021-22 season turned out to be a breakthrough campaign for the young player who worked under Arsenal’s U-18 coach and former Hale End graduate Jack Wilshere.

Amario went on to make a combined 25 appearances in the U-18 Premier League, FA Youth Cup and the Premier League 2 Division 1 competitions for the club, scoring 4 goals and registering 4 assists in the season. He earned a call-up from England’s Under-16 side and made waves by scoring on his international debut against Wales.

Professional Contract & the 2022-23 season:

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Following consistent and progressing performances it was clear to the youth coaching staff that Amario Cozier-Duberry is a man to hold on to. The Englishman signed his first professional contract in June 2022 and went on to say: “Being at Arsenal is a dream come true, my mindset is to stay focused and strive to become the next Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah or Emile Smith-Rowe – 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.”

The 2022-23 season was massive for both: Mikel Arteta’s first-team that astonishingly emerged as title-contenders and went on to be league runner-ups as well as Cozier-Duberry. The 18-year-old made a total of 30 appearances for the Gunners in the EFL Trophy, FA Youth Cup and the Premier League 2 Division 1. Once again the player showcased his versatility by playing as a right-winger in 24 matches and as a left-winger in 6 matches.

Amario ended the season with an impressive 12 goals and 8 assists, particularly flourishing in the FA Youth Cup where he found the net 5 times and assisted thrice in 6 appearances including the stellar display in the cup’s fifth round where he netted a brace against Watford after his side were down 2-0 at 13 minutes and went on to make a come-back to book a place in the quarter-finals. He was instrumental throughout for his side’s run in the FA Youth Cup as they reached the finals where he registered an assist in the defeat to West Ham.

The Pre-season US Tour & What’s Next?

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Arteta and his men are across the Atlantic on American soil to get underway for their pre-season fixtures against MLS All-Stars, Manchester United and FC Barcelona. On 16th July the club announced their travelling squad for the US tour which included Cozier-Duberry as the only academy player to set to feature for the Gunners.

This is a crucial opportunity for the 18-year-old to make further strides and show his manager that he’s ready to step up in the upcoming 2023-24 campaign. The absence of Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe means that the right-wing position can certainly be occupied by Amario as first-choice Bukayo Saka and Marquinhos would be rotated frequently to avoid exertion and injuries ahead of the new season.

Cozier-Duberry is widely regarded as the next Saka in the making. With both players being prodigies of the Arsenal Academy and versatile in positions, Arteta would certainly be hoping that Amario emerges to the same heights as the best winger in the world according to ESPN.

Arsenal kick-off their US Tour with a visit to Washington DC where they face a Wayne Rooney led MLS All-Star side. The club’s fans and coaching staff would undoubtedly be rooting for Amario Cozier-Duberry to put on a display of the potential he offers and once again prove Hale End’s capabilities.

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