‘Some people might think it’s a stunt’ – Arsenal legend reacts to Nwaneri making EPL debut:: All Nigeria Soccer

‘Some people might think it’s a stunt’ – Arsenal legend reacts to Nwaneri making EPL debut:: All Nigeria Soccer

‘Some people might think it’s a stunt’ – Arsenal legend reacts to Nwaneri making EPL debut

Arsenal legend Ian Wright has admitted that he was proud to see Golden Eaglets-eligible attacking midfielder Ethan Nwaneri make his senior debut for the Gunners.

 

Aged 15 years and 181 days on Sunday, Nwaneri became the youngest player in history to feature in the Premier League when he replaced Fábio Vieira in the 90th minute, breaking the record previously held  former Fulham starlet Harvey Elliot (16 years and 30 days).

 

Wright pointed out that the Anglo-Nigerian is well thought of by the Arsenal hierarchy and usually plays in an older age group.

 

Indeed, Nwaneri was 14 years and 44 days when he made his U18 Premier League debut against Reading on May 4, 2021 and played his first game in the Premier League 2 against Blackburn Rovers aged 15 years and 166 days.

 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was forced to include the highly talented teenager in the matchday 20 to face Brentford due to injuries suffered in the squad, with Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Emile Smith Rowe not available for selection.

 

Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day, via Football365, Wright said : “I’m so proud of that for Arsenal. To get in the team at that stage, some people might think it’s a stunt, but those people – Mikel, Per, Edu – are not putting him in there for a joke.

 

“They’re not going to bring people in just for the sake of it. They think very highly of him, he was playing for the U18s when he was 14.

 

“What I think this does is sent a massive message to the other academy players and shows them they all have a chance of playing in that first team.”

 

Nwaneri has made nine career appearances for the Gunners in the U18 Premier League and directly participated in eight goals (4 goals, 4 assists).

 

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

 

Photo Credit : arsenal.com

 

 

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