Monday, December 4, 2023

Liverpool “very interested” in Arsenal record breaker as transfer stance emerges

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Liverpool are “very interested” in Arsenal’s record-breaking teenage prospect Ethan Nwaneri, a new report has claimed.

Nwaneri made Premier League history at the weekend when he made his top-flight debut at the tender age of 15. The attacking midfielder was introduced in the closing stages of Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Brentford after he was drafted into the squad by Mikel Arteta.

And with the points secured, the highly-rated youngster was brought on in the 92nd minute aged just 15 years and 181 days old – making Nwaneri almost half a year younger than the previous record-holder, Harvey Elliott, who appeared as a scholar at Fulham when he was 16 years and 30 days old back in 2019.

While his fleeting cameo in west London has seen him make headlines overnight, it has since emerged that Nwaneri was already on the radar of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, namely Liverpool and Manchester City.

And The Liverpool Echo has learnt that the Reds are indeed avid admirers of Nwaneri and are very interested in the teenager, who is still too young to sign a scholarship and, as such, could be available for a minimal fee.

Nwaneri is unable to agree on a scholarship until he turns 16 in March, and he is also not able to pen professional terms until he turns 17 the following year – a fact that will not be lost on his high-profile courters.

Due to his age, he was not allowed to change with the rest of the team ahead of the Brentford match due to safeguarding reasons. He would have also needed consent or a waiver from his family to play due to being under the age of 16.

Despite his tender years, Nwaneri has already made a big impression at the Emirates Stadium. He has already starred at both Under-18 and Under-21 level for the Gunners and made his bow for England’s Under-16 side aged just 14.

Arsenal’s decision to include the youngster in Sunday’s squad shows how highly they rate Nwaneri and also underlines their desire to keep hold of the sought-after youngster – something that Arteta alluded to in his post-match comments.

“We have the opportunities to bring young players on,” the Gunners boss said. “We are pretty short and opportunities come when issues arise. It was a pure gut feeling. I met the boy, I really liked what I saw.

“He trained with us a couple of times. I had that feeling yesterday that if the opportunity could come, I would do it. He deserves it. He has been doing great. He is such a big talent we want to keep with us.”

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