Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reacted after handed Premier League debut to 15-year-old Nigerian Ethan Chidiebere Nwaneri in the Gunner’s 3-0 away win over Brentford on Sunday.
The young midfielder who is 15 years and 181 days old dethroned Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott after becoming the youngest player ever in the English topflight to make his first appearance in the competitions.
Arteta gave a 15-year-old player of Nigerian heritage his Premier League debut after replacing Fabio Vieira three minutes from full time as Arsenal cruised to victory at the Gtech Community Stadium to go top of the log standing heading into the international break.
Aged 15 years and 181 days, Ethan Nwaneri becomes the youngest player in #PL history! 🤩#BREARS | @Arsenal pic.twitter.com/7gepwExUaD
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 18, 2022
However, the Spanish coach, who also heard positive feedback from the academy coaches and Director of Football, Edu.
He said: “It was a pure gut feeling. I met the boy (and) really liked what I saw. Per Mertesacker and the academy staff are giving me really good information, Edu as well,”
“I met him, he’s trained a couple of times with us. Yesterday he had to come because we have injuries, especially the injury of Martin (Odegaard), and then I had that feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come that I was going to do it and I just done it.”
The former Manchester City assistant coach said he didn’t tell the player so many things but he just decided to try him on: “Those things it is better not to tell them. Just throw him there and see what happens.”
Nwaneri drew strong interest from a clutch of top Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea has made several appearances for Arsenal Under-18s.
The teeneger also became Arsenal’s youngest ever player in any competition, breaking the previous record of 16 years, 177 days set by Cesc Fàbregas in the 2003–04 Football League Cup.
Nwaneri was born on March 21, 2007 to Nigerian parents has feature for England Under-16s when he was 14 but is still eligible to play for Super Eagles.