Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal squad asked for midfielder to play against West Ham

Mikel Arteta has revealed the reason behind his decision to bring on Ethan Nwaneri against West Ham on the weekend.

The 16-year-old midfielder, who became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player when he made his debut against Brentford in 2022, appears to have the world at his feet.

Making his latest appearance during the Gunners’ 6-0 thrashing over David Moyes’ Hammers, Nwaneri was introduced in place of Gabriel Martinelli with around 15 minutes left to play.

And Arteta has confirmed that his tactical plans were influenced by the rest of the Arsenal squad, who were all pushing to see the talented teenager introduced.

“There’s something that you have to have when you’re in a team, and that’s the trust of your team-mates,” the Arsenal boss told FourFourTwo.

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“I had two things: one, the players on the bench whispering, ‘Bring Ethan on,’ and two, when your teammates want to give you the ball all the time.

“If they do that, they must really trust you and you can see how many times they gave him the ball from that. So a great sign.”

As things turned out, Nwaneri enjoyed a decent cameo. The London-born attacker, who bought some late energy, seamlessly slotted into the Gunners’ first team, and clearly has the respect of his senior teammates, despite his young age.

The attacking midfielder, who has 18 months left on his contract, is already an established under-17 England international and appears on the verge of making the next step up in his promising career.

Source link : https://www.caughtoffside.com/2024/02/12/mikel-arteta-says-arsenal-squad-wanted-ethan-nwaneri-to-play-against-west-ham/

Author : Andrew Walker

Publish date : 2024-02-12 12:03:13

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