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Who is Ethan Nwaneri? Meet the 15-year-old Arsenal wonderkid handed dream debut against Brentford

1:05 PM GMT 18/09/2022
Nwaneri-Arsenal-2022-23
Arsenal handed 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri a dream debut off the bench in Sunday's Premier League clash against Brentford.
  • Nwaneri only made his Under-18s debut in May
  • Teenager is an attacking midfielder
  • 17-year-old Lino Sousa also on the bench

WHAT HAPPENED? The midfielder became the youngest player ever to play for Arsenal after coming on late in the 3-0 win, as well as the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nwaneri is still on schoolboy terms at Arsenal, but has made rapid progress with the club in recent months.

He started the season with the u18s and impressed throughout pre-season, starring in some friendlies. One of which was against Slough Town, with Rebels boss picking him out as a potential star of the future.

“Their number 10 has got great feet, he’s only a real youngster,” Neil Baker said after the game. “He’s a real high hope for them at Arsenal. He’s got absolutely unbelievable ability."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Nwaneri, who has represented England at U16s level, has broken into the U21s in recent weeks and his performances saw him called up to first-team training by Mikel Arteta.

WHERE DOES HE PLAY? Nwaneri is an attacking midfielder who is known for his flair and his ability to run with the ball at his feet. He likes to operate in the No.10 role, but can play across all the attacking positions.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

Introducing Arsenal and the Premier League's youngest ever player!

The face of a man that knows he has a huge talent on his hands...

THE VERDICT: This was obviously a huge moment for Nwaneri, but the fact Arteta had to name him on the bench for a Premier League fixture highlights how small Arsenal's squad still is. They have a few injuries at the moment and Martin Odegaard dropping out at the last minute hasn't helped matters, but even so - Arteta shouldn't really have to be turning to a child to help him plug the gap.

It shows that there is still plenty of work to be done before this Arsenal squad can get close to competing with the best there is to offer in England.

WHAT NEXT FOR NWANERI? After coming on against Brentford, Nwaneri (15 years, 5 months, 23 days) has surpassed Cesc Fabregas (16 years 5 months 24 days) as Arsenal's youngest ever player. He has also become the Premier League's youngest player, beating Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (16 years, 30 days).