OGUN, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Following Arsenal 6-0 triumph over West Ham, Coach Mikel Arteta revealed that the players at Arsenal put pressure on him to start 16-year-old Ethan Nwaneri.
Nwaneri earned his first senior debut of the year as he replaced Gabriel Martinelli in the 77th minute as Arsenal put up one of their greatest displays of the year. After the game, Arteta disclosed that he had originally intended to start the young player, but he changed his mind because his bench teammates were eager to see Nwaneri play.
Talking to the media, Arteta said: “There is something that you have to earn in your team and that is the trust of your team-mates. I had two things. One, the players on the bench whispering ‘Bring Ethan in!’, which is a great thing to hear. The other thing is for your teammates to give you the ball all the time. If they do that, it’s because they really trust you and you only have to see how many times he was involved in that. So it’s a great sign.”
Recall In 2022, Nwaneri made headlines when he came off the bench to make his Premier League debut against Brentford at the age of 15 years and 181 days. He became the youngest-ever player to play in the Premier League. Even though Nwaneri has since been in the first team picture for training and matchday squads, Arsenal supporters hadn’t seen him play in the first team since that day. On Sunday, Nwaneri finally made his second Premier League appearance, entering the game with 13 minutes of regular time left to play.
It is obvious that Nwaneri has the trust and confidence of his team-mates , however, it remains to be seen if Arteta will be willing to give the youngster more responsibilities as Arsenal draw towards a tight title fight. The Gunners will next be in action when they take on Burnley on February 17.