Saturday, March 25, 2023

Arsenal youngsters hoping for involvement against Oxford

Ethan Nwaneri is the only player from outside the senior squad to have played for the Arsenal first-team so far this season, but there are plenty of prospects who are hoping that by Monday night that will no longer be the case.

Arsenal take on Oxford United away in the third round of the FA Cup and a contingent of academy players have been training regularly with the first-team in the build-up to the game, with most of those having also been involved in the recent trip to Dubai.

It remains to be seen how Mikel Arteta will approach this game with regards to playing academy players. During Arteta’s time in charge, only Folarin Balogun, Miguel Azeez, Ben Cottrell, Charlie Patino and Nwaneri have played in a competitive game for the first-team whilst being an academy player.

It is possible, though, that some youngsters could get on the bench at least against Oxford and potentially receive some playing time.

20-year-old striker Nathan Butler-Oyedeji, who was on the bench against Newcastle United last night, is amongst those in contention, whilst 17-year-old winger Amario Cozier-Duberry will be looking to build upon his impressive cameo in the friendly against Juventus.

Schoolboy midfielders Nwaneri and Lewis-Skelly could also be involved and defenders Reuell Walters and Lino Sousa have been on the fringes of the team for some time.

Matt Smith will also hope to make his long-awaited competitive debut for the Arsenal first-team.

It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the aforementioned players will be called upon, although it does need to be taken into consideration that there are quite a lot of first-team players who are also in need of minutes.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Players looked tired last night and it’s not surprising with many games in close proximity and sticking with the same 11 most of the time. Can’t underestimate Oxford at all but a blend of Holding, Vieira, Marq, Elneny, ESR cameo? Turner, Tierney, Tomi etc with youngsters would be good.

matt keeler

Would like to see a couple in the line up. ACD and Nwaneri.
Martinelli needs a game at CF to see how that can work for us

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Martinelli needs a break.

Will be curious to see who plays #9 at Oxford though – Nketiah shouldn’t be risked.

Possibly Butler-Oyedeji up front, Marquinhos and Smith-Rowe on the wings, and Vieira at #10.
If ESR isn’t fit enough, Cozier-Duberry looked very good on the left wing against Juventus.


We could play Ben White as #9 – he was running about up there all evening anyways 🙂


Walters holding tomi Tierney
Elneny sambi
Marquinhos. Vieira. ACD

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I’m just gonna make a couple of changes to that if you don’t mind;

Walters holding tomi Tierney
Elneny sambi
Marquinhos. Vieira. Mudryk


I see what you did there. I’ve been daydreaming at work too haha… but Mudryk could be, maybe….happening?! Edu do your magic!


Walters holding tomi Tierney
Elneny D. Rice
Marquinhos. Vieira. Mudryk


Cedric Tommi holding KT
Elneny Xhaka
Vieria Margueritos esr

Esr , sub off. For youth player after 60minute

Giuseppe Hovno

First teamers who need a rest or who shouldn’t be risked: Ramsdale, Gabriel, Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Martinelli. Cedric can be skipped as he’s off to Fulham. This leads the following first teamers who need a game: Turner, Holding, Elneny, Lokonga, Vieira, Marquinos. Imo Salina, Tierney and Tomiyasu all need game time to get back up to speed too. ESR and Reiss-Nelson may be available depending on fitness and if so would need games too. At best there are two starting positions in the front three for some youngsters on Monday. Hopefully they can get some time off the bench… Read more »


I really hope that ESR and Reiss-Nelson are fit enough for some minutes against Oxford. We can’t depend on transfers happening until they do, and having them ready for premiership and europa action would be a big boost at this time.

utk v

can we please for the love of god get Saka and Martinelli fully rested for the NLD and beyond


My hopeful lineup for Oxford would be:
Cedric, Holding, Tomi, Tierney(C)
Elneny, Lokonga
Marquinhos, Butler, ACD
ESR & Nelson on the bench with Nketiah to add firepower in 2nd half.
I would actually recall Balogun if Jesus won’t be back before Easter

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