Manchester United want Arsenal starlet Ethan Nwaneri and may be looking to tempt him at Old Trafford.
Mikel Arteta brought on the 15-year-old Hale End academy graduate in the dying moments against Brentford with the Gunners 3-0 up. Nwaneri was named as a substitute along with injured captain Martin Odegaard and was so young he had to change on his own, away from the rest of the squad.
Arteta claimed he made his decision to play Nwaneri based on a ‘hunch’ he had from the teenager – but it’s been suggested there was an ulterior motive to make him his beginnings.
According the temperature (opens in a new tab)Manchester United are one of the few clubs to follow the youngster, along with local rivals City.
There’s reason to believe that Arteta’s ploy to give Nwaneri a first-team chance is partly to convince the youngster that he’s better off staying with the Gunners. Twitter accounting focused on Arsenal Next Generation Arsenal academy recently tweeted (opens in a new tab)“The fight for his scholarship has been going on for a while. A big reason why Arsenal decided to show him an accelerated path to the first team.”
Arsenal will be desperate not to lose another starlet at this stage of their development. Over the years, Ismael Bennacer, Yunus Musah and Donyell Malen – now at AC Milan, Valencia and Borussia Dortmund – have gone through the famous Hale End setup only to leave without making a first team appearance.
Most recently, Arsenal lost Omari Hutchinson to Chelsea after the 18-year-old – who once represented Jamaica at the senior international – couldn’t agree a deal to stay with the Gunners.
Nwaneri joined Arsenal aged just nine and was part of the club’s Under-18 squad at the tender age of 14. He is now the youngest debutant in Europe’s top five leagues and is tipped for a stellar career as a midfielder.
Arsenal have a number of exciting talents within the Under-18 setup, including Omari Benjamin and Myles Lewis-Skelly, who will be players to watch in the years to come.
More Manchester United and Arsenal stories
Plans for January at Manchester United are already in the works but apparently hinge on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future. A replacement for David De Gea has apparently been identified, while Jude Bellingham is apparently on the radar. United are also in on the game for Barcelona ace Gavi. Meanwhile, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville spoke to TFF on the influence of American landlords and how they threaten “the fabric of the English game”.
After Nicolas Pepe left the Gunners for more minutes on loan at Nice, manager Mikel Arteta said he wanted to “add some firepower”, although he couldn’t guarantee a new player would come on. The Gunners are still interested in Pedro Neto, as well as a Ukrainian wonderkid.
Mohamed Elneny’s injury means the midfielder is a bit weak at the moment. TFF reported months ago that personal terms with Youri Tielemans had been agreed, with the north Londoners only needing to agree a fee with Leicester: a hurdle remained on deadline day. In other news, Bukayo Saka has hinted that he is close to extending his contract.