Arsenal’s under-18 side take on West Ham in the final of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday evening. Jack Wilshere’s crop of young stars are aiming to win the trophy for the first time since their head coach was a standout player in the competition 14 years ago. Express Sport looks at four players destined for big futures and aiming to catch the eye of Mikel Arteta.
Nwaneri broke the record to become the youngest Premier League player of all time earlier this season. At just 15 years and 181 days old, the attacking midfielder came on as a late substitute in the 3-0 win over Brentford last September.
He hasn’t been in a senior squad since that game but has been a regular in Premier League 2, as well as for the under-18s. Nwaneri has two goals in four Youth Cup games but there is a chance he could leave the Gunners before signing a professional contract, with interest from the likes of Chelsea.
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Many have labelled Cozier-Duberry as a Bukayo Saka clone. The similarities are uncanny, as a short in stature, left-footed player playing off the right with a real eye for goal.
He has been one of the stars of the competition so far, scoring five goals in five appearances and registering two assists. The 17-year-old has been on Arteta’s bench on five occasions but is yet to make a first-team outing.
Lewis-Skelly has been another shining light this season. The 16-year-old is a central midfielder who has the defensive qualities to play as a No 6 and attacking know-how to drive forward and make runs into the box.
The left-footer could be a long-term replacement for Granit Xhaka at the Emirates, providing that balance that Arteta craves. He has a goal and three assists so far in the Youth Cup but is yet to make a senior squad.
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Arsenal signed Sousa from West Brom in January 2022. The left-back has impressed Arteta and been a part of first-team training sessions.
He turned 18 in January and has regularly been playing for the under-21 side in Premier League 2. Sousa, who was an unused substitute the same game Nwaneri made his senior debut, registered two assists in the quarter-final win over Cambridge.
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