View: Mikel Arteta would have been impressed as Ethan Nwaneri bags hat-trick for Arsenal under-21 v Leicester City in his presence

Arsenal under-21s made it two victories in as many Premier League 2 games when they took on their Leicester City counterparts on Friday evening at Meadow Park.

The youngsters kicked off the Premier League 2 campaign with a 3-0 win over West Ham United last week, and they were in fine form again against the Foxes.

Arsenal first-team manager Mikel Arteta was in attendance and he would have been blown away by the performance of Ethan Nwaneri.

The under-21s found themselves behind after 41 minutes against the run of play, but they drew level four minutes later thanks to the 16-year-old.

The visitors were reduced to ten men shortly after action resumed for the second half, and Nwaneri grabbed his second goal of the game in the 58th minute.

James Sweet made it 3-1 a few minutes later and Nwaneri grabbed his hat-trick with six minutes left on the clock before he was replaced.

The Hale End academy graduate was head and shoulders above the majority of the players on the pitch, and he could soon be making his second official first-team appearance after becoming Arsenal’s and the Premier League’s youngest-ever player when he featured against Brentford last September aged 15.

The Gunners convinced the 16-year-old to agree scholarship terms before his schoolboy registration ran out in June, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City already keeping tabs on his contract situation.

The England under-17 international has continued to improve and Arteta would have been pleased with what he saw this evening.

Nwaneri was part of the team that went to Dubai for a mid-season training camp last December and did feature for Arteta’s side against Slough Town in a pre-season friendly ahead of 2022-23.

He also joined the first-team when they went to Germany as part of their pre-season preparations earlier this summer, featuring in the 1-1 draw against Nurnberg and also playing in the behind-closed-doors friendly against Watford at London Colney.

Nwaneri did not make it to the pre-season tour of the United States and has not been involved with the first-team since 2023-24 started but could soon force his way into the side if he keeps impressing at this rate.

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