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'Ethan Nwaneri has a big future; he is very, very special' - Granit Xhaka

Ethan Nwaneri scripted history on Sunday when he became the youngest player to make an EPL appearance at 15. Granit Xhaka has backed him as a unique talent and affirmed that the teen has a big future.

football english premier league epl 2022-23 Ethan Nwaneri has a big future; he is very, very special - Granit Xhaka-ayh
First Published Sep 20, 2022, 12:00 PM IST

English giants Arsenal saw being a part of history in the English Premier League (EPL). On Sunday, during its 3-0 win away to fellow London rival Brentford, it fielded a young 15-year-old midfielder Ethan Nwaneri, who became the youngest player to feature in the tournament. While he received high acclaim from fans and event pundits, fellow club midfielder Granit Xhaka was highly praised for the English lad, labelling him as an exceptional talent and backed to have a great future ahead. Although Nwaneri's inclusion in the XI was forced due to injuries for the Gunners, it was fruitful.

Talking to the reporters, Xhaka said, "To have a guy who is 15, who is 15 years younger than me… he looks old when I see him, but the club can be proud of a player like him. He has a big future. If I am honest, I am doing my coaching licence, and I have trained the Under-16s: you can see a big difference between him and the other guys. He is very, very special."

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"Of course, you must protect him as he is very young, but if he keeps going like this with his hard work, he has a big future. I spoke with one Brentford guy, and I told him this guy was 15, and he looked at me and said: 'F*** me, we are looking old!'" added Xhaka.

"So, yes, of course, when you have 15 years difference, you think: 'Okay, the time is not gone, but it is on the way'. But, we are enjoying him. He is enjoying us as he has the quality. If I am honest, he is not with us much in training," Xhaka continued.

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"I have maybe seen him twice or three times now. He is timid, of course, but the time will come when he will be more with us, but you have to protect and help him. Football is not everything for him and us, but yes, the club will help him, and the experienced players have to help him," concluded Xhaka.

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