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Arsenal starlets train with first team ahead of European clash

Alex Merson

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Arsenal starlets train with first team ahead of European clash

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Academy youngsters Amario Cozier-Duberry, Lino Sousa and Catalin Cirjan trained with the first team squad on Wednesday, as the squad prepares for their first Europa League game of the season against FC Zurich.

The players could be in contention to make their first appearances in the squad for the club against the Swiss side, with each of them impressing for the Arsenal u21 side over the last month.

With Sousa and Cozier-Duberry only being 17 years old, it could be a great chance for both to gain some valuable experience in and around the first team squad at such young ages.

Lino Sousa is expected to travel with the squad, according to The Athletic, but it is unclear whether Cozier-Duberry and Cirjan will be doing the same. 

However according to UEFA Sousa hasn’t been registered by the Gunners in the main squad and doesn’t qualify to be in the B list due to not being at the club long enough, so it seems likely it is more of a chance for Sousa to travel and be with the team.

Sousa joined the club at the start of 2022, joining from West Brom at just 16 years old.

The defender has been impressive ever since. 

Playing predominantly as a left back, he has appeared for the u21s 5 times this season registering an assist in one of the games.

Arsenals u21 head coach Mehmet Ali has recently praised Sousa, claiming he has the ability to get on the ball in the middle of the pitch and make things happen.

Playing a similar role to Arsenal’s starting left back Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Ali stated:

“Lino is a player that is very comfortable on the ball and because of that we sometimes give him licence to come inside the pitch to get the ball to feet and then try and serve (the ball in) effective and dangerous areas.”

On Tuesday night, the Arsenal u21s faced Feyenoord in an international friendly, and none of the players made the side, despite usually being key starters in the team who have started the season on top form, winning 6 out of 7 games in the league.

Young midfielder Matt Smith is also expected to travel with the squad, and it won’t be the first time he has been in the Arsenal team, most recently appearing on the bench against Aston Villa in Arsenals 2-1 win a few weeks ago, so it could be a chance for him to feature on the pitch for the first time.

Cozier-Duberry has been on fire for the youth side so far, scoring twice and assisting two more in just 3 league games.

Cirjan has also impressed, after being injured for over a year, he has come back into the Arsenal academy and been impressive.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see either players in or around the first team squad over the next few months.

Arsenal open up their 2022/23 Europa League season at 5:45 on Thursday away to FC Zurich and will be hoping for 3 points to kickstart their campaign.

Topics: Arsenal, Mikel Arteta, Europa League, Premier League, Feyenoord

Alex Merson
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