Ethan Nwaneri, 15, made Premier League history when he entered the game as a substitute for Arsenal in their 3-0 victory over Brentford on Sunday, September 18, 2022.
The victory saw Arsenal reclaim first place in the league after Manchester City moved top of the log table after beating Wolves 3-0 on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta’s team led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus, and Fabio Vieira sealed the victory in the 54th.
The first player under the age of 16 to play in the history of the Premier League is Nwaneri, who replaced Vieira in the second minute of stoppage time. Nwaneri was 15 years and 181 days old on the day he played his first Premier League game for Arsenal.
Before their game against Brentford, Arsenal had suffered their first loss of the campaign when they met with Manchester United over a week ago, but they never appeared in danger as they took control of the game against Brentford right away.
In the 17th minute, Saliba gave the visitors the lead by heading the ball home off the far post after rising to angle in a corner from Bukayo Saka.
A second header increased Arsenal’s lead 11 minutes later when Grant Xhaka found Gabriel Jesus with a beautiful floating cross from the left that the Brazilian emphatically met.
After the break, Portuguese midfielder Fabio Vieira’s spectacular shot from outside the area that bounced in off the post put the game beyond the reach of Brentford.
Arsenal leads the league with 18 points after seven games, one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, who are all on 17 points.
Brentford are now in ninth place with nine points after the loss, but manager Thomas Frank acknowledged they fell to legitimate title challengers.
Before Nwaneri, the previous youngest player to play in the Premier League was Harvey Elliott, currently of Liverpool, who made his top-flight debut for Fulham at the age of 16 years, 38 days.
Who is Ethan Nwaneri?
Ethan Chidiebere Nwaneri, an English football player who competes for Premier League team Arsenal, was born on March 21, 2007.
In September 2022, Nwaneri made his Premier League debut against Brentford, becoming the club’s youngest player ever and the youngest player to play in the top division of English football.
What position does Nwaneri play?
Nwaneri has been referred to be a “number 10” who plays with style but also has good dribbling skills and is adaptable enough to play both centrally and wide.
The young man still studies at Enfield’s St. John’s Senior School.
Who are the Youngest Players to Make Premier League Debut?
Here, Futballnews will take you through the list of the players to have made their Premier League debuts at a very young age – most under 18-year-old:
Ethan Nwaneri (15 years 181 days)
Arsenal vs. Brentford (19 September 2022)
In September 2022, during Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Brentford on the road, Ethan Nwaneri made history by becoming the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League.
He broke the record formerly held by Harvey Elliott in May 2019 by becoming the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League and for Arsenal in any competition.
Nwaneri was born in 2007, which means he is younger than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. Cesc Fàbregas (16 years, 177 days) previously held the Arsenal club record for the youngest player to make their competitive debut, and he replaces Jack Wilshere (16 years, 256 days) as the team’s youngest league player.
Harvey Elliott (16y, 30d)
Fulham vs. Wolves (4 May 2019)
Harvey Elliott broke the record for the youngest Premier League player to play when he entered the game in the 88th minute of Fulham’s 1-0 away loss to Wolves at Molineux Stadium in May 2019. Ethan Nwaneri of Arsenal later broke the record.
Elliott, who is currently one of the Premier League’s most promising young players, was only 16 years and 30 days old on the day of this game, but Fulham manager Scott Parker thought he was deserving of a spot in the matchday squad for the already-relegated team.
Matthew Briggs (16y, 68d)
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough (13 May 13 2007)
The youngest player to participate in the league was Matthew Briggs, who entered the field during Fulham’s 3-1 Premier League away loss to Middlesbrough on the final day of the 2006–07 campaign. Briggs was 16 years, 68 days old.
Harvey Elliott (also of Fulham) later broke the mark, which lasted for 12 years before Elliott’s performance in May 2019.
Isaiah Brown (16y, 117d)
West Brom vs. Wigan (4 May 2013)
When Isaiah Brown, also known as Izzy, made his Premier League debut in May 2013 at the age of just 16, high hopes were placed on him. His single league appearance for West Bromwich Albion came in this match, a 3-2 home loss to Wigan, and came just months before he signed for Chelsea.
In his eight years at Chelsea, he would only play once in the Premier League, but in 2017–18, while on one of his numerous loans from the Blues, he made 13 appearances for Brighton.
While on loan from Chelsea to Vitesse in 2015–16, Brown made more appearances in the Dutch top division (22) than he has in the Premier League since his league debut eight years prior.
Aaron Lennon (16y, 129d)
Leeds United vs. Tottenham (23 August 2003)
Aaron Lennon is the only player with more than 200 games in the Premier League among the 14 youngest players to make their league debut (416 at the time of writing).
Lennon made his Premier League debut in August 2003 for his hometown club Leeds United against the team he would go on to make the most appearances for: Spurs (266). At the time of his participation, his 11-minute cameo as a substitute set a Premier League record, but three younger players have since surpassed it.
Lennon was 16 years, 199 days old when he made his eighth appearance in the league against Arsenal in November 2003, making him the youngest player to ever assist a goal in Premier League history.
Jose Baxter (16y, 191d)
Everton vs. Blackburn (16 August 2008)
Wayne Rooney would likely be the first name that comes to mind if you were asked to name the Everton player who made his Premier League debut at the youngest age ever. If not, you might choose James Vaughan, who, at 16 years, 270 days, is the youngest Premier League scorer in history. Few of you would have guessed Jose Baxter.
Baxter made his Premier League debut for Everton against Blackburn Rovers in August 2008 at the age of 16 years, 191 days, which was 79 days younger than Vaughan’s and 106 days younger than Rooney’s.
Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (16y, 198d)
Aston Villa vs. Sunderland (14 March 2015)
In the 83rd minute of Aston Villa’s 4-0 victory over Sunderland in March 2014, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy made his Premier League debut. He surpassed Jimmy Brown (15 years, 349 days) in September 1969 to become the second-youngest player to play for Aston Villa in league action with this outing.
He came on as Christian Benteke’s replacement, but sadly for Aston Villa, he was unable to match the Belgian’s achievements for the team.
Gary McSheffrey (16y, 198d)
Coventry City vs. Aston Villa (27 February 1999)
At the same age as Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Gary McSheffrey made his Premier League debut as the joint-sixth-youngest player in history. The attacker made an 89th-minute substitution in Coventry City’s 4-1 victory over Aston Villa in February 1999 when he was 16 years, 198 days old.
Aston Villa’s John Gregory chose 11 English players for this game, marking the final time a team in the Premier League designated a full starting XI of English players. This strategy was obviously unsuccessful given the team’s lopsided loss and hasn’t been used since.
Reece Oxford (16y, 236d)
West Ham United vs. Arsenal (9 August 2015)
Reece Oxford made his West Ham United debut at the club’s youngest-ever age of 16 years, 198 days, breaking Billy Williams’ previous mark from 1922 (16 years, 221 days).
This performance took place during the first weekend of the Premier League season, when the Hammers unexpectedly defeated Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Although he was regarded as one of the club’s finest young talents throughout the era of the tournament, he only made seven more Premier League appearances after winning the Man of the Match award on his debut.
After almost two years away from the Premier League, he played his final match there against Crystal Palace in January 2018.
Jack Robinson (16y, 250d)
Liverpool vs Hull City (9 May 2010)
Jack Robinson is still the youngest player to represent Liverpool in a league game at the age of 16 years and 250 days.
Robinson is the only 16-year-old to have ever played in league competition for Liverpool, making his debut in a 0-0 draw with Hull City in May 2010 during Rafael Bentez’s penultimate game in command of the Reds.