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Arteta challenges Nwaneri to break into Arsenal's first team

Posted : 03 April 2024

Arsenal's rising star Ethan Nwaneri, hailing from Nigerian roots, faces a pivotal moment as he signs his first professional contract, accompanied by a challenge from manager Mikel Arteta to seize his opportunity in the first team.

At just 17 years old, Nwaneri made history in the Premier League last season, becoming the youngest player ever to grace the English top-flight. His debut against Brentford at a mere 15 years and 181 days garnered attention from top clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City, but Arsenal succeeded in securing his future with a professional contract, fending off competition from rivals.

Throughout this season, Nwaneri has continued to impress, predominantly featuring for Arsenal's youth squads. His prolific performances include an impressive tally of 14 goals in as many appearances, showcasing his talent and potential.

Manager Arteta has taken note of Nwaneri's progress and hinted at his imminent breakthrough into the first team. "He is very close to the first team," Arteta remarked, emphasizing the opportunity awaiting Nwaneri and urging him to seize it.

Arsenal's academy manager, Per Mertesacker, also acknowledged Nwaneri's remarkable journey through the club's youth system. From the pre-academy to Hale End and then the Sobha Realty Training Centre, Nwaneri's development culminated in his first-team debut, marking a significant milestone.

With his talent, secured professional contract, and the unwavering support of the club and manager, Nwaneri's future shines brightly. As he embarks on the next phase of his journey, the stage is set for Nwaneri to make his mark and fulfill his potential in Arsenal's first team.



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