Premier League

Arsenal wonderkid signs first professional contract

Ethan Nwaneri

Arsenal prodigy Ethan Nwaneri has signed his first professional contract at the club, having recently celebrated his 17th birthday.

The midfielder made history back in September 2022 when he became the youngest player ever to play in the English top flight, coming off the bench in a 3-0 win over Brentford at just 15 years and 181 days old. Since then, Nwaneri has featured once more for the senior team, subbed on late in an emphatic 6-0 win over West Ham United at London Stadium, and also continued to excel at underage level too – netting 14 goals in 14 games for the academy in 2023/24.

Having just turned 17 last week, the Gunners have now taken their earliest opportunity to sign the young talent to a professional contract, securing the player’s future at the Emirates Stadium. He was tipped to do so upon reporting back from England Under-17 duty and that has indeed been the case.

Ethan Nwaneri

Huge talent / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Speaking in an official release by the club, Academy Manager Per Mertesacker said: “We are extremely proud of Ethan and his journey, from pre-academy to Hale End, then a seamless transition to Sobha Realty Training Centre and then making his first team debut.

“Ethan’s journey now continues, and we will all be there alongside him to support his development.

“Ethan has a strong ability to master the ball, dominate possession and is really effective in the final third, which fits into our playing style at Arsenal Football Club.

“He is someone that will thrive on and off the pitch as a strong young Gunner and we look forward to working with him during his ongoing development in the years to come.”

The youngster will be hoping to garner more first team minutes before now and the end of the season, as Arsenal continue their hunt for a first Premier League title in 20 years.


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