Rio Ferdinand says Arsenal's Ethan Nwaneri could be next Phil Foden

‘There aren’t many 15-year-olds in the last 10 or so years that have got the ability that this guy’s shown on a consistent basis’: Rio Ferdinand says Arsenal record-breaker Ethan Nwaneri could be the next Phil Foden

  • Rio Ferdinand has compared Arsenal teenager Ethan Nwaneri to Phil Foden 
  • Nwaneri became Premier League’s youngest ever player at Brentford on Sunday
  • Foden was the youngest player to win a Premier League medal at 17 years of age

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Arsenal record-breaker Ethan Nwaneri, by saying he could be the Gunners’ answer to Man City star Phil Foden. 

Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history during Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday. 

At 15 years, 5 months, and 28 days, Nwaneri beat the record previously held by Harvey Elliott when he appeared as an injury-time sub for Fabio Vieira. 

Ethan Nwaneri became the Premier League’s youngest player on Sunday at just 15 years old

Rio Ferdinand has compared Nwaneri to being in the same league as Man City’s Phil Foden 

The midfielder was only called-up to train with the first-team for the first time on Saturday, but was given his debut by Mikel Arteta at the Brentford Community Stadium. 

Former England defender Ferdinand believes the teenager has all the tools to be a Premier League star and compared him to City ace Foden.  

There’s no doubting this kid’s ability,’ Ferdinand told his YouTube channel 

‘I’ve heard from coaches that are at the club and from various different people in the game at that level that there aren’t many 15-year-olds in the last 10 or so years that have got the ability that this guy’s shown on a consistent basis.

‘We are talking the Fodens of this world. At 15, he’s at a similar level they’re talking.’

Foden has become a Man City star since making his debut for the club in 2017 aged just 17

Foden made his debut for City in November 2017, when he came off the bench in the club’s Champions League game against Feyenoord, aged 17. 

A month later he became the youngest English player to start a Champions League game in City’s 2-1 defeat to Shaktar Donetsk. 

The City playmaker has since gone on to be the youngest Premier League winner in the league’s history and twice been named PFA Young Player of the Year – as well as earn 16 England caps. 

The historic moment came in stoppage time when Nwaneri replaced Fabio Vieira for Arsenal 

Foden has won four Premier League titles and twice been named PFA Young Player of the Year 

Nwaneri was born in March 2007, a full year after Arsenal had moved to The Emirates Stadium, and was unable to get ready in the same changing room as his Gunners’ team-mates due to child protection laws. 

The England U-18 star is the first player born in 2007 to feature in any of Europe’s top five leagues and is Arsenal’s youngest ever player in any competition. 

The win at Brentford saw Arsenal return to the top of the table, a point clear of Manchester City and Tottenham. They return to action after the international break when they’ll play host to Spurs in the north London derby.  

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