ARSENAL’s youngest-ever player is thought to pose a selection problem for Mikel Arteta – starting at Crystal Palace on Monday.
Ethan Nwaneri, 16, cemented his reputation as a potential ‘new Phil Foden’ with a hat-trick for the Gunners U21s on Friday night.
And Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand is among the pundits to call the Londoner great.
Emirates manager Arteta watched as Nwaneri dominated the Junior Gunners’ 4-1 win over Leicester City on Friday.
The England U17 midfielder made history at the age of 15 when he played against Brentford in the Premier League 11 months ago.
And while the Gunners have plenty of creative talent, Nwaneri could soon be in the running for a spot in the first-team squad.
Even last year Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel: “There is no doubt about the abilities of this child.
“I’ve heard from the club’s coaches and from various players at that level that there haven’t been many 15-year-olds in the last ten years or so who have had the ability of this guy on a consistent basis.
“We are talking about the Fodens of this world. At 15 he’s at a similar level to what they’re talking about.”
Nwaneri gave Arsenal’s comeback victory over the Foxes, striking in first-half injury time from close range to cancel out Tom Wilson Brown’s opener.
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Leicester captain Paul Appiah then saw red for bringing down goalkeeper Khayon Edwards.
And as the Gunners pushed forward, Nwaneri headed off the bar before putting the home side ahead.
James Sweet scored the goal of the game before Nwaneri completed his hat-trick.
Now the teenage hero is dreaming of a squad spot in Monday’s Prem squad at the Palace.
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