Nigerian born Ethan Nwaneri ‘to sign first professional Arsenal deal next week’

Nigerian born Ethan Nwaneri ‘to sign first professional Arsenal deal next week’

Nigerian-born and Premier League’s youngest-ever player, Ethan Nwaneri is reportedly set to sign his first professional contract with the Arsenal next week.

The youngster was just 15 years and 181 days old when he came off the bench against Brentford in September 2022, to become the youngest man to feature in the Premier League in the process.

Nwaneri broke the previous record set by Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott at the Gtech Community Stadium in Arsenal’s 3-0 win.

Nwaneri did not make another first-team appearance last season but continued to make waves at youth level, and he played his second match for the seniors in February’s 6-0 romping of West Ham United.

With top-flight rivals beginning to eye Nwaneri, Arsenal successfully negotiated scholarship terms which run out in 2025.

The England youth international celebrated his 17th birthday on Thursday, meaning that he is now eligible to pen professional terms in North London.

According to the Daily Mail, Nwaneri will convert his scholarship deal into a professional contract in the coming days, when he returns from international duty with England’s Under-17s.

The midfielder is apparently set to commit the next two or three years of his career to the Gunners, who have kept Manchester City and Chelsea at arm’s length to keep Nwaneri at the club.

In addition, the report adds that “informal” discussions have already been held over a new-and-improved contract when Nwaneri turns 18 in March 2024, unless the teenager is tempted into a move elsewhere.

With his pending integration into first-team football, Nwaneri has improved his goal threat for the youth teams this season and scored a remarkable five times in one game during a 7-1 FA Youth Cup crushing of Crewe Alexandra in December.

The playmaker has also had a direct hand in nine goals from as many Premier League 2 games for the Under-21s this season, netting seven of his own and laying on two assists.

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Idowu Babalola

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