Murphy accuses Arteta of ‘mismanagement’ for playing 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri

Danny Murphy said that Mikel Arteta might just have been 'trying to keep a young superstar happy' while criticising the Arsenal manager for handing Ethan Nwaneri a Premier League debut.

Nwaneri came off the bench during the Gunners' win over Brentford at the weekend to take Harvey Elliott's record of being the youngest player in the history of the division.

Aged 15 years and 181 days, Nwaneri's appearance has unsettled Murphy who is sure that the club must have other youth prospects who are further along in their development.

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"I am not convinced it is the best move for a young player, I am really not," Murphy said on talkSPORT.

"I have seen superstars come on the scene at a young age and thrive and go on and carry on, but there has also been a lot who have fallen by the wayside.

"He is obviously a super-talent, doing well in training and impressing everybody, but surely they have got other 18, 19 and 20-year-olds who are further ahead in their development who could have gone on the bench.

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"I think he is probably trying to keep a young superstar happy."

Nwaneri god the nod from Arteta having impressed with both his ability and personality, also earning praise from academy boss Per Mertesacker and technical director Edu.

Arteta said: "It was a pure gut feeling. When I met him, when I look at him, I had that feeling. I really liked what I saw.

"Per Mertesacker and the academy staff are giving me really good information, Edu as well. I met him, he's trained a couple of times with us.

"He had to come because we have injuries, especially the injury of Martin (Odegaard), and then I had that feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come that I was going to do it and I just (did) it."

Nwaneri, who came on in the 92nd minute and touched the ball just once, was born in 2007 and has nine England youth caps to his name including three for the U17s.


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