Premier League’s youngest ever player wasn’t allowed to change with first-team

Arsenal's teenage record-breaker Ethan Nwaneri had to get changed on his own away from the first-team before making his debut as the Premier League's youngest ever player.

Aged just 15 years and 181 days, the midfielder replaced Fabio Vieira in injury time against Brentford to break the record previously held by Liverpool star Harvey Elliott from his time at Fulham. The youngster was a surprise inclusion on the bench by Mikel Arteta, who had to do without likes of Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe in west London.

After the match it emerged that Nwaneri was not even allowed to change with the rest of the team ahead of kick-off, getting into his kit away from the main squad owing to safeguarding reasons.

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While he might not have been allowed to change with his superstar team-mates, Nwaneri was made to feel every bit a part of Arteta's side after coming on in injury time.

What were you doing aged 15? Let us know in the comments section below.

Delighted Gunners fans celebrated Nwaneri's introduction with chants of "How s*** must you be? He's only 15" and "he's got school in the morning."

Once the final whistle had blown, Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made a point of telling the schoolboy to go over to the away end and receive his applause from the travelling fans.

Arsenal boss Arteta explained his reasoning for picking Nwaneri, saying: "It was a pure gut feeling. "I met the boy. I really liked what I saw. Per [Mertesacker] in the academy was giving me good feelings. He's trained with us a couple of times and then I had the feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come I was going to do it."

His appearance came in the same week that Northern Irish club Glenavon gave a debut to 13-year-old Christopher Atherton, who became the youngest ever senior footballer in the UK.


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