WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Mikel Arteta told Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri to ‘enjoy’ the moment after making Premier League history

Mikel Arteta claims his decision to make Ethan Nwaneri the Premier League’s youngest EVER player was a ‘pure gut feeling’… as he told the 15-year-old to ‘enjoy’ making history in Brentford win

  • Ethan Nwaneri became the Premier League’s youngest ever player on Sunday
  • He came on as a late substitute for Arsenal in their 3-0 win against Brentford
  • Mikel Arteta has said it was a “gut feeling” to put Nwaneri in the squad
  • He has also said he told 15-year-old Nwaneri to ‘enjoy’ writing history
<!– <!– <!– <!– <!– <!–

For a brief moment it looked like Ethan Nwaneri was about to make Premier League history, then carelessly slipped back into the Arsenal dressing room.

But his teammates weren’t about to let his incredible moment, after becoming the league’s new youngest ever player at 15 years and 181 days, pass without the fanfare it deserved.

After his record stoppage-time cameo goal, Aaron Ramsdale waved back Nwaneri – the first ever under-16 to play in the division – as he headed for the tunnel.

Ethan Nwaneri became the first 15-year-old to play in the Premier League on Sunday
Ethan Nwaneri became the first 15-year-old to play in the Premier League on Sunday

Ethan Nwaneri became the first 15-year-old to play in the Premier League on Sunday

Aaron Ramsdale took Nwaneri over to the touchline to receive acclaim from the Arsenal fans
Aaron Ramsdale took Nwaneri over to the touchline to receive acclaim from the Arsenal fans

Aaron Ramsdale took Nwaneri over to the touchline to receive acclaim from the Arsenal fans

Gabriel Martinelli also wanted Nwaneri to receive a standing ovation from the Arsenal supporters
Gabriel Martinelli also wanted Nwaneri to receive a standing ovation from the Arsenal supporters

Gabriel Martinelli also wanted Nwaneri to receive a standing ovation from the Arsenal supporters

With his arm around Nwaneri’s shoulder, Ramsdale led him towards the section of Arsenal fans so that as part of his day he could sample the accolades they receive after the win, as well as his first ever senior minutes.

Then there was an extra cheer for Ramsdale and then Gabriel Martinelli playfully nudged attacking midfielder Nwaneri forward so he could celebrate on his own.

Nwaneri got his moment after training with Arsenal’s first team on Saturday and a brilliant start to the season with their academy, scoring four goals and setting up a further five in just 10 games.

He made his under-18 debut aged 14 in May 2021, scoring against Reading, and his under-21 bow was also well ahead of schedule earlier this month.

Mikel Arteta said: ‘It was a gut feeling. When I met him, when I looked at him, I had that feeling. I really liked what I saw.

‘Per Mertesacker and the academy staff give me really good information, including Edu. I met him, he has trained a few times with us. Yesterday he had to come because we have injuries, especially the injury of Martin (Odegaard), and then I had the feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come, then I had to do it, and I just did it.

Mikel Arteta decided to bring Nwaneri on in the latter stages of his side's win against Brentford
Mikel Arteta decided to bring Nwaneri on in the latter stages of his side's win against Brentford

Mikel Arteta decided to bring Nwaneri on in the latter stages of his side’s win against Brentford

Arteta said his 'gut' told him to name Nwaneri in his matchday squad on Sunday
Arteta said his 'gut' told him to name Nwaneri in his matchday squad on Sunday

Arteta said his ‘gut’ told him to name Nwaneri in his matchday squad on Sunday

‘I told him yesterday that he should be with us and that I want him to experience what it’s like to be in the hotel to prepare for the game to be around the boys and that he should be ready. If you’re going to get on that bench, you need to be ready. The boy just looks into your eyes and he’s ready. [When he was coming on I said] just congratulations and enjoy.’

Nwaneri’s eagerness to get involved in his few minutes on the pitch against Brentford was understandable and evident.

He had just one touch, which was loudly cheered by the outfielder, but his performance was long enough to allow Arsenal fans to taunt their Brentford rivals about a 15-year-old playing against them, chanting “he’s got school tomorrow. “

When Nwaneri – so young that he was born after the Emirates opened in 2006 and has to get ready in a separate dressing room to his adult teammates – a number of records came into the game.

He became Arsenal’s youngest ever Premier League player, a record held by Jack Wilshere (16 years and 256 days), and youngest any player in any competition.

Before yesterday it was Cesc Fabregas who made his first team debut at the age of 16 years and 177 days. Not bad footsteps for Nwaneri to follow in at all.

Harvey Elliott was previously the Premier League’s youngest ever player at 16 years and 30 days when he made his Fulham debut.

Nwaneri has made his Arsenal debut at a younger age than Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere
Nwaneri has made his Arsenal debut at a younger age than Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere

Nwaneri has made his Arsenal debut at a younger age than Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere

A pupil of St John’s Prep and Senior School, Enfield, Nwaneri is also the first player born in 2007 to play in any of Europe’s top five leagues.

Arteta said: ‘All the decisions we make and that I make are for the club. It’s not for me, it’s not for the player, it’s because we believe he has a talent that will develop incredibly in the next two or three years. We will see how we manage, but the boy will dictate. Usually it’s not us, usually the players tell you and demand of you how far you can go on it.’

With Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool on the trail of Nwaneris, earning him a place in the record books, a quick chance is a good way to show him what could lie ahead at Arsenal.

Arteta said: ‘It sends a strong message about who we are as a club. That we will provide opportunities when there is talent, when there is personality and when there are players who love what they do so much and when they are not afraid. The doors are open to explore where they can go.’

Cristiano Ronaldos sister fires back at Real Madrid chief Florentino

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More