Mikel Arteta has now revealed what was being said about Ethan Nwaneri on the Arsenal bench during the Gunners’ win over West Ham United.
Ethan Nwaneri made his second senior appearance for Arsenal as a substitute against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
Arsenal were already 6-0 up against the Hammers when, in the 77th minute, Mikel Arteta gave the nod to Nwaneri. The 16-year-old Hale End academy wonderkid came on to make just his second first-team appearance.
His first came back in September 2022, when as a late substitute against Brentford, Nwaneri became the youngest player in Arsenal and Premier League history.
Since then, there has been plenty of clamour from Arsenal fans wanting to see more of Nwaneri in action. However, since making his bow, Arteta has allowed the starlet to develop away from the limelight, where he has regularly impressed for the north London club’s academy teams and in training with the first-team squad.
Now, though, it seems that the desire for Nwaneri to be given more chances at Arsenal has spread to the first-team dressing room. After the win over West Ham, Arteta revealed that Arsenal players on the bench had been urging him to give the youngster a run out.
In the comments, Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, revealed that it was experienced midfielder, Jorginho, who was calling for the player to come off the bench
As quoted by the club’s official website, the Spanish coach said, “there is something that you have to do in your team, and that is the trust of the teammates.
“And I had two things: one, the players on the bench whispering to bring Ethan on, which is a great thing to hear, and the other one your teammates want to give you the ball all of the time. If they do that, it’s because they really trust you and you can only have to see how many times he was involved in that. So it was a great sign.”
The senior players in this Arsenal team clearly have huge faith in Nwaneri, which bodes well for his future at the club. The likes of Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka sent him supportive messages after the match.
Arsenal stars show support for Ethan Nwaneri
It will be fascinating to see between now and the end of the season, how much more, if at all, the teenager is used.
Here, a certain amount of caution is required. It makes sense that Nwaneri is the subject of so much excitement and that people want to watch him play at the greatest level more often. He is still very young, though.
At this early point in his career, overexposure could cause far more harm than good. He is essentially a child, so in addition to the rawness of his game, the amount of pressure and media attention he receives should be managed very carefully.
Nevertheless, every indication points to Nwaneri having a very bright future in the game and the ability to become a rising star for Arsenal in the near future.