Ethan Nwaneri signs first professional contract

Ethan Nwaneri signing his pro deal with Per Mertesacker

Ethan Nwaneri has signed his first professional contract with us.

Our England youth international joined us in May 2015 and has developed through our academy, being a vital player in all our age categories ever since.

The 17-year-old midfielder has made 14 appearances in all competitions across our academy this season, scoring 14 goals in the process. Ethan has also continued his development into first-team football this season, featuring as a substitute in our 6-0 Premier League victory at West Ham United in February 2024.

Ethan made history in September 2022 when aged 15 years and 181 days he became the youngest player to ever feature in an English top-flight match, and the youngest player ever to represent our men’s first-team when he came on in our 3-0 win at Brentford.

Academy Manager Per Mertesacker said: “We are extremely proud of Ethan and his journey, from pre-academy to Hale End, then a seamless transition to Sobha Realty Training Centre and then making his first team debut. Ethan’s journey now continues, and we will all be there alongside him to support his development.

“Ethan has a strong ability to master the ball, dominate possession and is really effective in the final third, which fits into our playing style at Arsenal Football Club. He is someone that will thrive on and off the pitch as a Strong Young Gunner and we look forward to working with him during his ongoing development in the years to come.”

Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Ethan on signing his first professional contract and we look forward to seeing his continued development.

Hear from Ethan as he discusses signing the deal in an exclusive interview

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