Will Arteta prove he was serious about Ethan Nwaneri against Bodo/Glimt? (Opinion)

Arsenal brought Ethan Nwaneri off the bench to become the youngest ever Premier League player ever when coming on against Brentford, but how much more minutes is he likely to see in the first-team?

The manager Mikel Arteta claimed that he followed his gut in deciding to give the 15 year-old his senior debut, before insisting that he believes he was ‘ready’, and with the Europa League usually a large outlet for the top English sides to give younger players minutes to pick up invaluable experience, today could well be an opportunity for him to be seen again.

Nwaneri was given next to no time to make an impact when coming on against Brentford, but that outing should have been a bit of an ice-breaker, a way to lessen the nerves for when he gets his next chance, and if Arteta is serious about the young future star, today could be when he gets his first chance to get a foothold on a football game.

The midfielder is supposedly wanted by a number of our rivals, which is believed to have been one of the catalysts behind him being thrust into the spotlight and given that early debut appearance, and we will all be waiting for our next taste, and with much of our first-team likely to be rested this evening, this could prove to be a great opportunity to use him.

While I’m not expecting him to come in to start, he could well be turned to as a replacement for Granit Xhaka at either half-time, or more likely around the hourmark, but the thinking behind him could be different if we fail to gain an advantage in the opening 60 minutes of play.

Do you believe Arteta will show he was serious about Nwaneri by playing him in the Europa League and cup competitions? Is 30 minutes too much to expect for the youngster? Am I wrong in thinking he will likely only feature if we are already winning?

Patrick

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14 Comments

  1. I think Matt Smith should be given the chance to play ahead of Xhaka and Nwaneri today, unless he isn’t fit to play

  2. Arsenal predicted XI @goal.com
    4-3-3: Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson

    Good lineup. So that Reulle Walters and Lino Sousa to sub Tomiyasu and Tierney at fullbacks. Also Matt Smith and Odegaard to sub Xhaka and Fabio in attacking midfield.

    Alternatively, Tomiyasu can move into CB meaning:
    4-3-3: Turner; Walters, Holding, Gabriel, Sousa; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson

    So that White, Tierney, Partey and Zinchenko can come in for Walters, Sousa, Xhaka and Fabio.

    This way we can have a near full rested first team to pick from to face Liverpool.

    Hoping to see a great game and a decent win tonight. COYG.

    1. I’d be sorry for Xhaka if he starts again – the guy is a machine who’s never injured (touch wood!) and plays all the time… but he needs rest the same as everyone else.

  3. Arsenal predicted XI @goal.com
    4-3-3: Turner; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson

    Good lineup. So that Reulle Walters and Lino Sousa to sub Tomiyasu and Tierney at fullbacks. Also Matt Smith and Odegaard to sub Xhaka and Fabio in attacking midfield.

    Alternatively, Tomiyasu can move into CB meaning:
    4-3-3: Turner; Walters, Holding, Tomiyasu, Sousa; Vieira, Lokonga, Xhaka; Marquinhos, Nketiah, Nelson

    So that White, Tierney, Partey and Zinchenko can come in for Walters, Sousa, Xhaka and Fabio.

    This way we can have a near full rested first team to pick from to face Liverpool.

    Hoping to see a great game and a decent win tonight. COYG.

  4. Very good question Patrick.
    Let’s see if MA backs up his words with actions.
    I can only see him coming on, if the game has been put to bed (3-0?).

  5. Ethan Nwaneri can not play in Europe until he is 16. He would have certainly played today against Bodo Glimt if he was 16 years old. Artete and Arsenal are very serious about him as the boy has real ability and demonstrates it on a constant basis all levels.

    He just returned from England u17 duties and got a quick run out with u18 scored and assisted. Rested after 60mins.

    Then trained with the first team during the week. Remember he is still at school during the week.

  6. He won’t play imho as his introduction was for a reason, or more for persuasion to stay with us rather than be lured away, asche can’t sign a contract yet. As Joe said, I’m not sure it would be allowed anyway.

  7. O. T.

    Herr Drier… there is an article on YouTube about old football grounds and it shows a picture of the East stand at Highbury (amongst others).

    I can see in the bottom left hand corner, a section of the shop that dear old Jack Kelsey helped run….. and so I apologise to you for getting my memory wrong regarding where it was!!

    Still got the pictures though and I wonder what Jack would think of The Armoury?!?!

  8. The article is overtaken by the knowledge that he needs to be 16 to play in Europe, but I suspect he was brought on in the PL just to set the record when the game was already well won.

    The youngest player to *play* in the PL seems a fairly “useless stat” when it counts a couple of ate minutes in a game that’s done and dusted – surely the more sensible/interesting stat is youngest player to *start* a PL game?

    1. Agreed! Stats , disappointingly, are so commonly misused by those who jump straight in but who don’t think first what the TRUE MEANING of that stat actually is!

      Even in much older players who may have played more than 500 times, many of those appearances include being a late sub, sometimes for a tiny few minutes only.

      To my mind, THAT should not count as an appearance at all, since it is often more a device to waste time, rather than to give that particular player a real chance.

      Essentially , in life as in football, I dislike comparing apples with oranges, so to speak.

  9. Besides his age which Joe wisely points out, was he not registered, he has to be registered to play, doesn’t he?

    Forgive me if I’m missing something, I rarely look up the rules or any changes to them. I also don’t know how or when the UEFA full-player list is forwarded

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