Ethan Nwaneri on Sunday became the youngest debutant in Premier League history when he made his Arsenal debut
Nwaneri made his debut at 15 years and 181 days against Brentford and is the first 15-year-old to play in the Premier League.
He broke a 58-year-old record in the process and also broke Cesc Fabregas’ record as the youngest Arsenal debutant ever.
Nwaneri has played at the U-18 and U-21 levels for Arsenal and has been touted as one of the biggest players coming out of the Hale End Academy.
He only joined the Arsenal first team four days ago after impressing with the U-21s and U-18s.
He had scored four and assisted four this season for the youth teams and is rated as one of the brightest players from the academy.
Nwaneri has represented England at the U-16 level and has been capped once at the U-17 also. He is also eligible for Nigeria through his parents.
The 2007-born player is the first from his year of birth to make a first team appearance or squad place at any Premier League team and will not forget this day for a long time.
How well did Nwaneri perform on his debut?
The young midfielder was subbed on by Mikel Arteta for Fabio Vieira in the 92nd minute.
In his one minute of action, he was able to complete one pass but received applause from the fans after the game after Aaron Ramsdale urged him to applaud the travelling supporters.
From a football point of view, it was too little a time on the pitch to assess the record maker.
How did Nigerians and the world react to Nwaneri debut?
Nwaneri’s debut was met with surprise and excitement in Nigeria. He was credited for his achievement and encouraged him to go for more.
"15 years ke. How can?".
Some Nigerians think the world out there is like their country of anything goes. Ethan Nwaneri is 15. Born in a country where age isn't established by affidavit, his birth record cannot be fudged or forged. Modernise Nigeria and see how society works pic.twitter.com/zHXPsrED8Z
— Dr Great Oracle (@AbdulMahmud01) September 19, 2022
Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale push 15-year-old debutant Ethan Nwaneri towards the travelling supporters
— Doc (@karthikadhaigal) September 18, 2022
Making a league debut before 18 is a big, big deal. To do it at 15 in the EPL is a momentous achievement. To be deemed to have the ability & ready physically & mentally to play in such a tough league at 15 is staggering. Congratulations to the Ethan Nwaneri & his family.
— Babanla (@biolakazeem) September 19, 2022
Chidiebere Nwaneri makes Premier League history, becomes youngest player ever. pic.twitter.com/LDrY1s71mU
— IGBO TIMES (@Igbo_Times) September 18, 2022
How does Nigeria benefit?
Nwaneri’s father is Nigerian and that makes him eligible to represent various Nigerian national teams.
He is currently with the England U-16s and recently made his debut with the U-17s. With a Premier League berth under his belt, he’s expected to soon be called up to the England U-21s as he joins a growing list of English-born Nigeria-eligible players.