Ethan Nwaneri, aged 15 years and 181 days, created Premier League history on Sunday by becoming the youngest ever player in the English top flight. He beat the record previously held by Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, who was 16 years and 30 days when he represented Fulham in 2019.
Nwaneri came off the bench in stoppage time as Arsenal’s clinched a 3-0 victory at Brentford on Sunday.
It was expected that Nwaneri would spend the season with Arsenal Under-18s, but he was quickly promoted to the Under-21s following his brilliant performances.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was falling short of midfield options as Captain Martin Odegaard and senior player Oleksandr Zinchenko were injured. “We are pretty short and opportunities come when issues arise,” said Arteta. “We have the opportunities to bring young players on.”
Mikel Arteta said it was “pure gut feeling” during training that let him offer a Premier League debut to Ethan Nwaneri and added that he knew the schoolboy was ready to take on the challenge from the moment he looked in his eyes.
“I told him yesterday that he was going to be with us and that I wanted him to experience how it is to be in the hotel, to prepare for the game, to be around the boys, and [told him] that he had to be ready. If you are going to be on that bench, you have to be ready. The boy just looks into your eyes and he is ready.” Said Arteta.