Fabrizio Romano has told The Here We Go Podcast that Arsenal beat several big English clubs to the signature of Ethan Nwaneri following the teenager’s first-team debut for the Gunners at the weekend.
Nwaneri was only on the pitch for a couple of minutes on Sunday. Nevertheless, his senior bow for Mikel Arteta’s side was incredibly significant as he became the youngest Premier League player of all-time.
The 15-year-old was born just a few days after a late Andrew Johnson goal gave Everton a 1-0 win against the Gunners in 2007.
He was born 10 months after Arsenal were beaten in the Champions League final by Barcelona, and seven months after the club’s first competitive game at the Emirates Stadium.
It is a remarkable achievement. So it will probably come as absolutely no surprise that Arsenal were not the only side keen on signing the midfielder.
Romano has now suggested that plenty of heavyweights in the Premier League wanted Nwaneri before he ended up at the Emirates at the age of nine.
“I’m told that this guy is really special, that some English clubs, big English clubs wanted to sign him and Arsenal won this race to have Ethan in their academy,” he told The Here We Go Podcast.
Clubs wanted Nwaneri before Arsenal won race
Arsenal may have to get used to dealing with rival interest in Nwaneri. Reports have already claimed that clubs such as Liverpool are monitoring the youngster. Granit Xhaka meanwhile, labelled him ‘very special’.
Clearly, he is best off staying in North London for the time-being. They obviously have high hopes for the starlet. And they are making sure that there is a pathway to the first-team for him.
But that is unlikely to stop sides trying their luck to secure his signature in the future.