Ethan Nwaneri makes a debut: Sports help develop a person grow and develop as a human being. For young athletes, sports can be a pathway to becoming a more social and responsible person. In football also, nothing really changes. But in this beautiful game, the top managers and top teams often bench their youth players and field more experienced footballers to gain more advantage over the opposition. Due to this, the growth of the young footballer gets hampered.
On the other hand, there have been world-class managers in the past who have given opportunities to the academy prospects and youth footballers in general and still reached new heights of success. One of the first names that may come to the mind of a football lover upon reading this is great Arsene Wenger. The loyal servant of London club Arsenal was heavily criticised for his inability to produce results for giving a lot of game time to young footballers but that never negatively affected his ideologies and approach.
Ethan Nwaneri grabbed a lot of eyeballs in his first performance
One such example of the recent era is one of his former students and players the current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Under him, the Gunners have built a side that reflects enthusiasm and hunger on the pitch and all of that was possible cause Arteta kept on giving youth players their deserved chances.
The players have proved him right as Arsenal has now climbed up to the top of the table by defeating Brentford 3-0. One of many highlights of the game was the Premier League debut of Ethan Nwaneri. The 15 years and 181 days old became the youngest ever Premier League debutant, breaking the record of current Liverpool player Harvey Elliot, who used to hold the record for making his debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days.
When asked about his decision to hand a teenager game time in a Premier League match, Arteta said, “It was a pure gut feeling, I met the kid and I liked what I saw”. Nwaneri was once linked with various top Premier League clubs, including Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool. His decision to stay at Arsenal and the club’s choice to retain him has paid their dividend now.