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"Unplayable" - Jack Wilshere raves over Arsenal youngster, he's the future of the club

Chris Byfield

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"Unplayable" - Jack Wilshere raves over Arsenal youngster, he's the future of the club

Jack Wilshere heaped praise on Arsenal youngster Alex Nwaneri following the youngster’s display in an under-18 game against Manchester United.

In September Nwaneri came off the bench against Brentford to become the Premier League's youngest-ever player at 15 years and 181 days.

For reference, Nwaneri was born after the Emirates Stadium was built, he was three months old when Bacary Sagna signed for Arsenal from Auxerre and when the world plunged into lockdown in 2020 he was just 12.

Though the attacking midfielder has long been hailed at Hale End as a future star, his rise has been nothing short of absurd.

The attacking midfielder was playing under-16 football just last season, while the 15-year-old only made his debut for the U-18s in February.

Academy Under-18’s coach and former Arsenal wonder-kid Wilshere was full of praise for the youngster after Nwaneri’s display in a 3-3 draw with Man Utd at the weekend.

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Wilshere, who was once Arsenal's youngest-ever league debutant at the age of 16 years, 256 days, said: “In the first half, he tried to find the spaces, playing in people’s backs and creating space for himself, and we couldn’t find him a little bit.”

“In the second half, he was very good. He was unplayable at times. He had a few good moments. In the second half a lot of players stepped up a level, we found some more space.

“We spoke to them a little bit at halftime about few tactical things which allowed Ethan to free up. We had a really good balance in the team and Ethan was good in the second half.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, academy coach Per Mertesacker and sporting director Edu Gaspar are all said to have belief in Nwaneri.

Meanwhile, the youngster has made an impression on the first-team players as well.

Switzerland international and Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka told CBS Sport: “I am doing my coaching license and I have trained (him in) the u16s. You can see a big difference with him and the other guys. He is very, very special.

“Of course, you have to protect him as he is very young. But if he keeps going like this with his hard work, he has a big, big future.

“He is not with us a lot in training. I have maybe seen him two or three times now. He is very shy, of course, but the time will come when he will be more with us. You have to protect him and help him.

“Football is not everything for him and for us. But, yes, the club will help him and the experienced players have to help him.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Arsenal, Jack Wilshere, Premier League

Chris Byfield
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