Ethan Nwaneri becomes youngest-ever Prem player as he comes on for Arsenal
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Ethan Nwaneri has become the youngest-ever Premier League player, aged just 15, after coming off the bench for Arsenal against Brentford.
Nwaneri made his debut off the bench in the second minute of added time at the Brentford Community Stadium, replacing Fabio Vieira. His introduction was greeted with chants of "He's going to school, in the morning" from the travelling Arsenal contingent, seemingly unaware that all schools are closed tomorrow on account of the Queen's funeral.
The 15-year-old was handed a surprise place on the bench for the trip to west London owing to injuries to the likes of Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard. But few expected him to actually get on the pitch as the Gunners returned to the top of the Premier League.
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Born in March 2007, Nwaneri is even younger than the club's Emirates Stadium home, which opened in July 2006. The 15-year-old seems to have been making waves in the club's academy and was promoted to first-team training in the week leading up to the fixture against Brentford.
At just 15 years and 181 days old, he replaces Liverpool star Harvey Elliott as the Premier League's youngest ever player. Elliott made his professional debut for Fulham against Wolves, aged 16 years and 30 days.
What were you doing aged 15? Let us know in the comments section below.
Nwaneri has four goals and four assists in four games for the Gunners' U18s and U21s this term, having made his debut for the latter age group at the start of September. He is also an England U16s international, having turned out for the Three Lions aged just 14.
And he capped his remarkable rise with an extraordinary cameo against the Bees. Needless to say, social media was awash with comments praising the youngster and users reflecting on what an incredible achievement it is at such a young age.
One person tweeted: "Arsenal’s Ethan Nwaneri making his Premier League debut aged 15. I couldn’t even get into my school team at that age…" As another said: "Ethan Nwaneri has just made his debut for Arsenal. He wasn't born when Arsenal moved to the Emirates. He is younger than Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not."
While one delighted Arsenal fan wrote: "I can imagine Arsène Wenger somewhere in Paris, watching this game, sipping a glass of French Red, watching Ethan Nwaneri getting subbed on. He must be so proud. His legacy lives on.."
Nwaneri's debut capped a superb afternoon for Arsenal, who moved back top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Brentford thanks to goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira.
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