Babayaro's Nigerian record is safe: 16yo midfielder Nwaneri named in Arsenal's matchday squad v LensPublished: November 29, 2023
Nigeria-eligible attacking midfielder Ethan Nwaneri is in contention to make his UEFA Champions League debut tonight when Arsenal face off with Ligue 1 opponents Lens at the Emirates Stadium in London.
Nwaneri was added to Arsenal's B List for the Champions League ahead of the matchday five fixture, fueling speculation that he was going to be involved in some capacity against Lens.
The first year scholar was not called up for Arsenal's UEFA Youth League meeting with Lens on Wednesday afternoon, adding more fuel to the rumours of him making the first team's squad list.
Mikel Arteta's midfield options are limited with Thomas Partey, Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira all sidelined due to injury.
Nwaneri has benefited from the absence of the three first teamers, with the Spanish football tactician handing the England U17 international of Nigerian descent his first-ever call-up for a Champions League game.
The Anglo-Nigerian youngster has not figured for the first team of the Gunners since making a historic debut against Brentford on September 18, 2022 when he became the youngest player to feature in the English top flight at the age of 15 years and 181 days.
Former Anderlecht left-back Celestine Babayaro (16 years and 86 days) is the youngest player of Nigerian descent to play in the Champions League, a record that cannot be broken by Nwaneri who is 16 years and 253 days today.
Ethan Nwaneri is among the twelve players named on Arsenal's substitutes bench.
Photo Credit: arsenal.com
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