Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri came on as a 91st minute substitute for Fabio Vieira in Sunday’s match against Brentford, as he became the youngest player to ever play in the Premier League, aged just 15 years and 181 days.
Mikel Arteta introduced the teenager when the match was already won with Arsenal 3-0 up, yet he was quick to praise the attitude and talent of the youngster.
“I met the boy, I really liked what I saw,” Arteta explained in his post-match press conference.
“Obviously, the academy staff also gave me very good information about him.
“He has also trained a couple of times with us. Yesterday he had to come because we had injuries, especially Martin Odegaard, and then I had that feeling that if the opportunity came I would give it to him, and I did.”
Who is Ethan Nwaneri?
Whilst hopes are high for Nwaneri‘s future, Arteta was clear in stating that the experience of being on the senior bench shouldn’t allow the player to get ahead of himself.
“It’s another step and another experience, but in your career every step is not going to be forward.
“After this, maybe I need three backwards to go another one forward, but I also think it sends a very strong message about who we are as a club.
“We want to give opportunities when there is talent, when there is personality and when there are players who love what they do so much and are not afraid.
“All the decisions that we make, that I make, are for the club, because we believe we have talent that has to be developed over the next two or three years.
“We’ll see how we manage them. The kids will dictate how far they can go.”