At 15 years and 181 days, Nwaneri beat the record of Harvey Elliott who made his debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days in May 2019.
15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history when he came on for Arsenal against Brentford on September 18, 2022.
Nwaneri takes the record off Harvey Elliott, who has held the record since 2019 when he made his debut for Fulham against Wolves — aged 16.
FootballOrbit brings you all you need to know about the latest youngster from Arsenal’s Hale End Academy.
Ethan Chidiebere Nwaneri was born on the 21st of March 2007 to Nigerian parents in England.
He wasn’t even born when the Emirates Stadium opened in July 2006!!!
Nwaneri joined Arsenal academy at 9 years old. His progress through the ranks was rapid due to his precocious talent.
By the time he was 14, the midfielder started playing for the U-18 side.
He started the 2022/23 season with the U-18s and impressed throughout pre-season, starring in some friendlies.
Due to his excellent form, he was quickly promoted up to Arsenal’s U-21s.
Nwaneri’s exploits caught the attention of Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta — who invited him to start training with the first team in September.
He made his first senior matchday squad on the 18th of September as he was named as a substitute for a Premier League match against Brentford.
Ethan came off the bench to replace Fábio Vieira in the second minute of second-half stoppage time to become the youngest player to ever appear in the Premier League.
At 15 years and 181 days, Nwaneri beat the record of Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott who made his debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days in May 2019.
He also broke the all-time English top-flight record — held since August 1964 by former Sunderland goalkeeper Derek Forster — by 4 days.
In addition, he has also surpassed Cesc Fabregas (16 years 5 months 24 days) as Arsenal’s youngest ever player.
Arsenal have a rich history of blooding young players, especially midfielders, with Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Jermain Pennant all just 16 years old when they made their first-team debuts.
After the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said he had a “gut feeling” that he should give Nwaneri an opportunity with the senior team.
“It was a pure gut feeling,” “I met the boy, I really liked what I saw. He trained with us a couple of times. “I had that feeling yesterday that if the opportunity could come, I would do it. He deserves it.”
“But I think it sends a strong message about who we are as a club. I told him yesterday he would be with us and he had to be ready. He is ready. When he went on I said ‘congratulations and enjoy it’.
“I don’t know what it is. When I met him, when I looked at him, I had that feeling.”Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on Ethan Nwaneri
Nwaneri is yet to sign a professional contract with Arsenal. The Gunners can only offer him such a contract once he turns 17.
Born to Nigerian parents in England, Ethan Nwaneri is eligible to play for England and Nigeria at international level.
So far, the youngster has made 7 appearances up to U-17 level with England. He scored a goal and made an assist for the U-17s as they beat Mexico in April.
Ethan Nwaneri is a left-footed attacking midfielder who is known for his flair and his ability to run with the ball at his feet.
He likes to operate in the No.10 role, but can play across all the attacking positions.
Nwaneri prefers to line up on the right-hand side from where he can cut inside his marker and go for goal with his favoured foot, or create an opening for a teammate.
Due to his stature, he has proven to be an aerial threat at youth level.
Ethan Nwaneri is certainly a player to watch out for in the future. His combination of pace, power and technique are traits of a good midfielder.
Did you know?
On the 13th of September 2022, Christopher Atherton became the youngest footballer in the UK when he debuted for Northern Irish club Glenavon aged 13 years and 329 days.
Atherton missed out on becoming the youngest senior player in the world by just 10 days. The record is held by Souleymane Mamam, who played for Togo in a World Cup qualifier against Zambia in May 2001 at 13 years and 319 days.
You can also check out the 5 youngest players in MLS history.