Arsenal academy chief, Per Mertesacker, has revealed that Ethan Nwaneri’s debut in the Premier League has lifted everyone inside the youth system.
The 15-year-old became the Premier League’s youngest ever debutant when he was a late substitute in victory at Brentford.
“Mikel (Arteta, manager) gave everyone a powerful message,” he told arsenal.com.
“I have to say how much it trickled down. I’ve seen videos of the under-9, under-10 squads cheering Ethan on at Hale End when he came on. Players that would start the same journey as he did, in the grassroots academy, were cheering him on. So all of a sudden he has been escalated to be a role model and a positive influence for young players.
“It’s just brilliant to see, that’s what we are proud of, that we can show progression, that we can show pathways. It was a very proud moment, first of all for himself and his family. It’s a reflection as well of what this club is about, what the academy is about.
“A lot of youngsters entering the academy have the dream of playing for Arsenal Football Club and he made that dream come true. It was a proud moment for us as an academy.”