Premier League – After Brentford-Arsenal (0-3): At 15, Ethan Nwaneri becomes the youngest player in history

Kaka was going to win his Ballon d’Or that he was not even born“. This kind of comparison immediately flowered after Arsenal midfielder Ethan Nwaneri came on in the Gunners’ 3-0 win at Brentford on Sunday. Born in 2007 and aged 15 years and 181 days, the Englishman became the youngest player in the history of the Premier League, a record previously held by Harvey Eliott (2019), who entered the game at 16 years and 30 days under the Fulham jersey (he will now move to Liverpool).

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The match sold out since the third but signed Fabio Vieira, Arsenal supporters were treated to a final thrill at the end of the first of four minutes of additional time. Standing in front of his bench, the (very) young Ethan Nwaneri, a little adolescent goatee and still living acne, was impatient at the height of his 15 years. Amused, London fans have already adopted the new youngest of the Kingdom: “He has school tomorrow morning.”

Songs come along with the entry of a real phenomenon of precocity, as we do more and more lately. Outclassed in almost every age category, Nwaneri notably found himself playing in the under-18s at just 14 years old. A light progression facilitated by the absences due to injury of captain Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko, allowing the name of the teenager to be registered for the first time in the pro group.

I really liked what I saw (…) he deserves it

The rest is the decision maker in person, Mikel Arteta, who delivers it to us: “It was a choice (to bring him in) purely instinctiveconfided the Arsenal coach after the meeting. I was able to meet the boy. I really liked what I saw. He trained with us several times. I had a feeling yesterday that if the opportunity arose, I would. He deserves it.”

On the few touches of the ball he was able to afford, Nwaneri displayed an interesting quality of low support. Above all, the kid did not have cold feet and immediately offered himself to his partners, without hiding. A character already well marked for such a young player, it is also by this that we measure the potential of a talent. Back at the top of the league (1st, 18 points), Arsenal could well call on Nwaneri again, who would participate in a potentially historic campaign in more ways than one for the Gunners.

Ethan Nwaneri makes history by replacing Bukayo Saka, becoming the youngest player to be rated in the Premier League

Credit: Getty Images

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