Rio Ferdinand has told his YouTube channel that he has heard from some in the game that Ethan Nwaneri is thought to have a similar level of ability to what Phil Foden had at a similar age following the midfielder’s Arsenal debut at the weekend.
Nwaneri is dominating the headlines following another impressive Arsenal win on Sunday. The youngster came on for his first senior appearance for the Gunners in stoppage-time as Mikel Arteta’s side beat Brentford 3-0.
In the process, Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history. At 15 years and 181 days, he took Harvey Elliott’s record by some distance.
Understandably, Nwaneri was not given long enough on the pitch to make too much of an impact. But clearly, there is huge excitement about what his future could hold.
Danny Murphy questioned the decision to use him against the Bees. But Ferdinand has suggested that everything he has heard about Nwaneri hints that he has the talent to handle all of the expectations.
“There’s no doubting this kid’s ability. I’ve heard from coaches that are at the club and from various different people in the game at that level that there aren’t many 15-year-olds in the last 10 or so years that have got the ability that this guy’s shown on a consistent basis,” he told his YouTube channel.
“We are talking the Fodens of this world. At 15, he’s at a similar level they’re talking.”
Arsenal could have their own Phil Foden in Ethan Nwaneri
There is absolutely no question that Foden is one of the most gifted talents in the country. So even mentioning Nwaneri in the same breath as the Manchester City starlet is quite something.
Obviously, Arsenal will be wary of putting too much pressure on the teenager. He is clearly not going to be a regular fixture in the side for a while yet.
But Arteta would not have given him an opportunity if he did not believe that he could handle the debut and everything that would come with it.
Clearly, if everything falls into place for Nwaneri, Arsenal will have a very special player on their hands in the coming years.