Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could unleash a highly-rated teenager against Brentford on Saturday as he’s without some of his key players.
Both Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe will not be involved in the game despite Nelson returning to full training prior to the Gunners’ recent defeat to Everton.
Smith Rowe, who is sidelined with a thigh injury, has only just returned to light training with Arteta confirming in his pre-match press conference that there is no hope he will be involved.
Given the injury issues the North London outfit are facing, they may be forced to turn to their academy to fill the gaps in the squad.
This could give youngster Amario Cozier-Duberry another opportunity to make his debut for the club, after he was named as a substitute for the match against Everton at Goodison Park. He has again trained with the first team squad this week.
The 17-year-old has been on the bench for three senior games this season but is yet to play, so the Brentford game could be the opportunity he’s been waiting for.
Arsenal boss on “absolutely brilliant” Cozier-Duberry
Cozier-Duberry was also one of several youth players who travelled with the first team squad when they visited Dubai during the World Cup back in December.
Arsenal lifted the Dubai Super Cup during this mid-season training camp and Arteta praised the standards set by the young players involved.
He told Arsenal.com: “This win is a good way to close the stage and the camp. I think they’ve been absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much as well the boys they’ve been really helpful.
“The under-18s, the 16s and 21s maintained the level and the standards that we need. I think we competed really well against a really, really good side.”
Arteta has a great track record of developing youngsters and turning them into Premier League regulars, and if Cozier-Duberry performs well he could potentially be Arsenal’s next big star.