Suspend your disbelief for one second and Amario Cozier-Duberry scores the kind of goals that should, by law, be soundtracked by ‘Mas que Nada’ and a phalanx of Brazilian superstars.
Cozier-Duberry has been earning a host of admirers with his performances for Arsenal’s youth side this season.
Adept at carrying the ball, in the protective and instinctive manner of a squirrel harvesting nuts for the cold winter, and fearless when taking defenders on, the 17-year-old attacker looks to have the brightest of futures in the game.
At least, if this absolute ridiculousness against Blackburn Rovers last September is anything to go by.
Receiving a drilled pass, Cozier-Duberry took the bull by the horns and drove at his opponents with the relentlessness of a Garth Crooks question.
Evading one desperate lunge, the attacker born in May 2005 shifted the ball onto his left foot before curling an irresistible effort into the bottom corner.
The paramedics in the stadium were on high alert after the Arsenal supporters in attendance dislocated their jaws in shock and awe. Yes, it was that good.
Amario Cozier-Duberry, remember the name. 🤩
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 6, 2022
The 17-year-old has five goals and four assists in 19 games for the club’s under-21s and five goals and two assists in five matches for Jack Wilshere’s under-18s.
“Amario is very exciting and Mikel likes him,” Wilshere told The Athletic. “He reminds me of Bukayo Saka, plays in the same position as him, needs to get better with his decision-making like Bukayo did, but he’s definitely exciting.
“In some moments he’s unplayable. You give him the ball and he can make things happen. You can set up a team and have a game plan, but when you’ve got individuals like that you’ve got a chance.”
Cozier-Duberry has also been crucial in the under-18s’ FA Youth Cup run, scoring five goals to take the Gunners into this month’s final against West Ham.
“Amario came into the system really late,” under-21s head coach Mehmet Ali told The Athletic. “He didn’t sign for Arsenal until he was an under-15, so he was playing grassroots football for a long time.
“I see him as a late developer. Even though we’re pushing him in under-21s football, he’s had a great games programme of playing under-18s and being around the first team. He’s a super talent.”
Honing his craft on the artificial turf rented by Chettle Court Rangers, a youth club deep in Tottenham territory, Cozier-Dubbery is an intoxicating mix of street footballer and the steeliness of a First World War sniper.
“There are pros and cons of coming into an academy system late,” Ali explained. “Some of the pros are you’re fresh and bright-eyed so you don’t become institutionalised too early.
“He would have loads of repetition and actions of beating players at grassroots football, which is what his super strength is.
“Some of the cons could be the intensity and physicality of playing academy football from a young age makes you robust, so we need to support him with that.
“He’s got great role models like Bukayo Saka, Fabio Vieira and Gabi Martinelli that he can learn a lot from. He’s got to find a way of gaining that football arrogance to help him play at the top level.”
If this Nike-esque goal is anything to go by, we cannot wait for Cozier-Duberry to make his Arsenal bow. They have an absolute baller on their hands.
By Michael Lee