Arsenal (opens in a new tab) Boss Mikel Arteta admits he had “a hunch” over Ethan Nwaneri the day before giving the 15-year-old midfielder his Gunners debut.
Nwaneri replaced Fabio Vieira in the 89th minute of Sunday’s 3-0 win at Brentford (opens in a new tab)becoming the youngest player in Premier League history (opens in a new tab) at the age of 15 years and 181 days.
The England youth international also became Arsenal’s youngest player in all competitions, breaking the record set by Cesc Fabregas in October 2003.
💬 “It’s a feeling I had yesterday… Per told me about him!” @m8arteta talks about Nwaneri’s debut @PremierLeague 🤝 ❤️ @ArsenalAcademySeptember 18, 2022
A new name to many, Nwaneri was already familiar to Mikel Arteta – who explained his decision to include the schoolboy in his squad for the west London trip.
Speaking to the Gunners’ official website, Arteta said (opens in a new tab):
“It’s a feeling I had yesterday, I don’t know why.
“The first day I met him, I looked him in the eye and everyone was talking to me about him. [Mertesacker, manager of Arsenal’s academy] was talking to me about him and because of the injuries, we only [had] 12 or 13 senior players yesterday to put in the squad and we decided to bring him in, and that’s it.
“It’s a stage, an experience, so enjoy it and congratulations! »
Nwaneri will no doubt be eager to get involved for Arsenal’s first game after the international break: the smallest deal of a North London derby vs Tottenham clash (opens in a new tab) in the Emirates.