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Who is Ethan Nwaneri? Arsenal’s 15-year-old midfield prodigy

Ethan Nwaneri was named on Arsenal’s bench for their game against Brentford on Sunday at the tender age of 15 years, five months and 29 days, but what else is there to know?

Arsenal have a rich history of blooding young players, particularly midfielders, with Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Jermain Pennant all just 16 when they made their first-team debuts.

But Nwaneri could outdo all of them if he steps onto the field at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday.

Already a staple of Arsenal’s under-18s, despite playing against teenagers sometimes three years older than him, Nwaneri bagged an assist against Blackburn on his Premier League 2 debut in March.

Eligible for England and Nigeria at international level, the youngster has thus far made seven appearances up to under-17 level with England, bagging a goal and an assist for them as they beat Mexico in April.

What position does Nwaneri play in?

A left-footed attacking midfielder, 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 slip in an attacking runner.

He is fast filling out his frame, though, and is happy to play through the middle too where has has also proved an aerial threat at youth level.

How good is Nwaneri?

Nwaneri is certainly extremely promising, with his combination of pace, power and technique seeing him play up the Arsenal and England age groups throughout his career so far.

He assisted Charles Sagoe Jr. for the third of four goals in 4-1 win over Blackburn in Premier League 2 in March – his debut at that level – and is at least some of the reason the Gunners let Lucas Paqueta join West Ham from Lyon this summer.

What clubs are interest in Nwaneri?

Hiven Nwaneri’s prodigious talent, the biggest clubs in the world such as Manchester United and Barcelona are keeping tabs on him.

Premier League clubs are no longer allowed to sign overseas players under the age of 18 since Brexit, which will only drive interest in the homegrown Nwaneri up higher.

When does Nwaneri’s contract expire?

Nwaneri is yet to sign pro terms with Arsenal. The Gunners can only offer him such a contract once he turns 17.

How old is Nwaneri?

Born on 21 March 2007, Nwaneri was 15 years, five months and 29 days old at the time of writing, a full year younger than Fabregas was when he made his Arsenal debut in 2003.

He shares a birthdate with Ronaldinho, Lothar Matthaus and Antoine Griezmann among others, and wasn’t even born when the Emirates opened.

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