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Arsenal wonderkid to sign record-breaking deal

Mikel Arteta, Arsenal

Arsenal are set to ward off Manchester City’s interest in wonderkid Ethan Nwaneri with a record-breaking offer, according to a report.

Nwaneri became the youngest Premier League player in history last season when he made his debut in a 3-0 win at Brentford at 15 years, five months and 29 days of age.

He has been largely restricted to the club’s reserve side since, although Mikel Arteta is understood to have a lot of faith in the midfielder, who has six goals and two assists in eight Premier League 2 outings this season.

Arteta’s former employers Manchester City are aware of Nwaneri’s talent, and have reportedly moved to add him to their youth academy – but Arsenal are pulling out all the stops to keep him.

Record breaker

“Arsenal sensation Ethan Nwaneri is set to sign a record-breaking deal after Man City tabled a ‘substantial’ offer,” reports Football Insider’s Wayne Veysey. “The 16-year-old will sign pro terms with the Londoners as soon he turns 17 on 21 March.

“The 2007-born star has already been given the highest-ever wages for an academy player in Arsenal’s history in what is a record-breaking deal for the club.”

Whilst the report doesn’t outline how much money Nwaneri is, or will be, on, recent academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe were on £3,000-a-week on their first pro deals, so it should exceed that figure.

With his career still in its infancy, Nwaneri is only valued at €4.2 million by FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm. Official data partner SciSports pegs his potential skill at 97, however, which is in excess of first-team regular Fabio Vieira.

City had a track record of poaching Arsenal players, although more have moved in the opposite direction in recent years, such as Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

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