'The players on the bench whispering' - Arteta explains why he brought Nwaneri on against West HamPublished: February 12, 2024
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised Anglo-Nigerian midfielder Ethan Nwaneri who made his second appearance in the Premier League in the Gunners' 6-0 thrashing of West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
The 16-year-old had not featured for Arsenal since his cameo against Brentford last season where he broke the record as the youngest player to have ever featured in a Premier League game.
With the Gunners cruising to victory against the Hammers, the England youth international was brought on to replace Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli in the 77th minute of the game.
Despite coming on late in the encounter, the talented midfielder didn't fail to impress his manager who didn't hide his feelings during his post-match conference.
Arteta hailed Nwaneri for his performance pointing out how he had earned the trust of his senior teammates and revealing how he had been pushed to bring him on.
"There is something that you have to do in your team, and that is the trust of the teammates. And I had two things: one, the players on the bench whispering to bring Ethan on, which is a great thing to hear, and the other one your teammates want to give you the ball all of the time," Arteta said to Arsenal's official website.
"If they do that, it’s because they really trust you and you can only have to see how many times he was involved in that. So it was a great sign."
Nwaneri is enjoying a stellar for the development side and is already into double figures for the season, notching 11 goals in ten games across all competitions.
With Arsenal in contention with Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title, it remains to be seen how much he will be involved with the first team between now and the end of the season.
Photo Credit: arsenal.com
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