Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice shower praise on Arsenal teenager Ethan Nwaneri following West Ham United cameo

Arsenal ran out 6-0 winners against West Ham United at London Stadium on Sunday to keep up their chase with Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table, and the rout afforded manager Mikel Arteta to hand Ethan Nwaneri his second-ever Premier League appearance.

The 16-year-old became the youngest-ever Arsenal player and the youngest player to appear in the English top-flight when he came on against Brentford in September 2022 aged 15, and he replaced Gabriel Martinelli yesterday in the 77th minute.

The Gunners had found themselves 6-0 up in the 65th minute, and Nwaneri got his long-awaited chance 17 months after his debut.

His senior teammates Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice were impressed with his cameo, taking to Instagram to comment and shower praise on him.

Arsenal fans have been frustrated that Arteta has not been giving the academy youngsters the chance to prove themselves anytime the opportunity presented itself, and he did not hesitate to throw Nwaneri into action yesterday once there was nothing else to play for.

With only the Premier League and Champions League the competitions Arsenal are currently playing in until the end of the season, chances might be few and far between for the teenage sensation and his fellow youth players going forward, and only similar results to the West Ham game could afford them opportunities to prove themselves.

As a result, they will need to keep impressing at youth level and take their chances anytime they are involved with the first-team or given cameo appearances off the bench.

Arsenal return to action on Saturday with a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley before resuming Champions League action in the round of 16 four days later away to FC Porto.

They will fancy their chances of winning both competitions, and their recent run of four consecutive league victories would have helped boost their morale after a disappointing run before the winter break.

Subscribe for notification