Interviews

Imari Samuels sets his sights high

Young defender keen for another taste of the first-team experience.

By Bruce Talbot • 23 September 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
The defender made his England Under-20 debut in May this year.

Imari Samuels is ambitious on a personal level and for the under-21s this season.

Having been on the bench for our Premier League game at Newcastle United in May, the 20-year-old former Reading full-back went with the first-team squad for the Premier League Summer Series having played for England at the Under-20s World Cup last season.

Samuels’s target is to make his first-team debut in the next few months but for now his aim is to help the under-21s continue their good start to the campaign.

By Paul Hazlewood
Imari Samuels has made three Premier League 2 appearances so far this campaign.

He said, “This season the aim is to be as high as we can as a team and on a personal level try and make my debut as soon as possible. I’ll keep striving and working hard.

“There are things to improve but I think I’ve had a consistent start to the season. Last season I went to the World Cup with England U20s which was a crazy experience playing in front of 25,000 people. And then I had pre-season in America with the first team which was great.

“You can tell the difference between the 21s and Premier League quality. It’s not a massive jump but little details like passing stand out. Roberto De Zerbi knows what he wants, and the players know their roles really well.”

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PL2 Highlights: Brighton 1 Nottingham Forest 0

Albion are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions and are fifth in the PL2 table ahead of today’s fixture against 12th-placed Newcastle United at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre (4pm).

“I think we’ve had really good results so far. The team cohesion has been good on and off the pitch,” added Samuels.

“We’ve been working extremely hard defensively, being compact as a back four and as a whole team – refining the basics and making sure everyone is on the same page, on and off the ball. We’ve built cohesion and bond in training quite easily.”