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Ethan Nwaneri Signs First Professional Contract with Arsenal

[Credit: Arsenal FC]

Highly talented England youth international, Ethan Nwaneri, has officially signed his first professional contract with Arsenal.

At just 17 years old, Nwaneri possesses remarkable versatility, capable of playing as a “number 10” or anywhere across the frontline. Renowned for his exceptional close control and technical prowess, he is also recognized for his excellent passing ability and goal-scoring instinct.

Nwaneri’s journey with Arsenal began at the age of nine when he joined the club in May 2015. Since then, he has consistently showcased his brilliance at the youth level, progressing through the ranks at Hale End. His competitive debut for the Arsenal U18s came in May 2021, at the age of 14, in a league match against Reading where he contributed to Arsenal’s 6-1 victory by finding the back of the net.

Having signed a scholarship deal with the Gunners last July ahead of the 2023-24 season, Nwaneri has already made significant strides. With 14 appearances across various competitions for the U18s and U21s combined, he has netted an impressive 14 goals this campaign.

Despite being a first-year scholar, Nwaneri has already made two competitive senior appearances for Arsenal. These came in the Premier League fixtures against West Ham United in February, where he made a substitute appearance in Arsenal’s 6-0 victory, and against Brentford last season in September 2022. Notably, Nwaneri made history in the latter match, becoming the youngest player ever to feature in an English top-flight match at just 15 years and 181 days old, and the youngest Arsenal player to represent the first team.

As an England U17 international, Nwaneri has occasionally trained with the Arsenal first team and aspires to secure a permanent spot in the senior squad in the future.

Commenting on Nwaneri’s achievement, Academy Manager Per Mertesacker expressed pride in Ethan’s journey from the pre-academy to Hale End, highlighting his seamless transition to the Sobha Realty Training Centre and subsequent debut with the first team. Mertesacker emphasized Nwaneri’s ball mastery, ability to dominate possession, and effectiveness in the final third, qualities that align with Arsenal’s playing style. He affirmed the club’s commitment to supporting Nwaneri’s ongoing development and looked forward to witnessing his growth as a Strong Young Gunner in the years ahead.

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