The 11 youngest Premier League players ever and where they are now including Elliott & Lennon as Nwaneri breaks record | The Sun

IF Ethan Nwaneri wasn't already the coolest kid in school – he is now.

The 15-year-old made his professional debut for Arsenal on Sunday, coming off the bench in the 3-0 win over Brentford.

Nwaneri replaced goalscorer Fabio Vieira late on in the second half with the game already put to bed.

His substitute appearance made him the youngest player in Premier League history at 15 years and 181 days.

Nwaneri beat the record held by now Liverpool ace Harvey Elliott.

Elliott was 16 years and 30 days old when he played for Fulham in 2019.


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On the decision to bring on Nwaneri, boss Mikel Arteta said it was "a pure gut feeling".

The Spaniard told "It was a pure gut feeling. I met the boy, I really liked what I saw.

"Obviously Per and the academy staff gave me really good information about him as well. I met him, he’s trained a couple of times with us as well.

"Yesterday he had to come because we had the injuries, especially to Martin, and then I had that feeling from yesterday that if the opportunity could come, that I was going to do it, and I just done it."

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Arteta continued: "It’s another step, another experience. In your career all the steps are not going to be forward.

"After that, maybe he needs three backwards to go another one forward, but as well I think it sends a really strong message about who we are as a club."

SunSport looks at the 11 youngest Premier League players ever.

Ethan Nwaneri – 15 years, 5 months, 28 days

Nwaneri came on in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday.

An injury to club captain Martin Odegaard saw him be handed a spot in Arteta's matchday squad.

Nwaneri had a few touches of the ball in what was a straightforward win for the Gunners.

Harvey Elliott – 16 years, 1 month

Elliott did hold the record as the youngest ever Prem player up until Nwaneri's debut.

Elliott made his debut in 2019 for Fulham in a 1-0 loss to Wolves.

He has since moved onto Liverpool, where he is becoming a first-team regular for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Matthew Briggs – 16 years, 2 months, 7 days

Matthew Briggs was just two months into being 16 when he made his Prem debut.

The then Fulham defender played in the 3-1 loss to Middlesbrough in 2007.

Briggs failed to kick on and dropped down the divisions.

The now 31-year-old plays for Gosport Borough.

Izzy Brown – 16 years, 3 months, 27 days

Izzy Brown made his West Brom debut in 2013.

The striker played in the 3-2 loss to Wigan.

Brown went on to join Chelsea's academy ranks but failed to make an impact at Stamford Bridge.

In fact, the now 25-year-old was one of many academy stars to be consistently loaned out.

He is now, however, without a club.

Aaron Lennon – 16 years, 4 months, 7 days

Aaron Lennon makes the list having made his Prem debut at 16 for Leeds.

He played in the 2-1 loss against Tottenham – a team he went on to play for.

Lennon was also an England regular and won 21 caps for his country.

The 35-year-old last played for Burnley but is now without a club.

Jose Baxter – 16 years, 6 months, 9 days

Jose Baxter played for Everton as a 16-year-old in 2008 against Blackburn.

The Englishman was a late second half substitute in the 3-2 loss.

Baxter, 30, went on to play for Tranmere, Oldham and Plymouth before playing in the States.

He is now retired.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy – 16 years, 6 months, 14 days

Now Swindon player Rushian Hepburn-Murphy played for Aston Villa in 2015.

He played in the 4-0 win over Sunderland.

Hepburn-Murphy went on to play just one more Prem game for Villa.

The 24-year-old had a stint in Cyprus for Pafos before joining Swindon this summer.

Reece Oxford – 16 years, 7 months, 24 days

Arguably one of the biggest what ifs.

Reece Oxford starred as a 16-year-old in West Ham's 2015 win over Arsenal.

The Hammers won 2-0 and Oxford pocketed Mesut Ozil.

But Oxford lost his way after being handed a big contract.

And after several loan spells, he moved permanently to Germany where he now plays for Augsburg.

Oxford is showing signs of improving and statistically was one of the best English centre-backs across Europe's top-five leagues.

Jack Robinson – 16 years, 8 months, 7 days

Making your debut as a youngster in defence isn't easy, but Jack Robinson managed it for Lverpool.

The then 16-year-old played in the 2010 0-0 draw with Hull, keeping a clean sheet.

After leaving Liverpool, the now 29-year-old made a name for himself in the lower leagues.

He now plays for Sheffield United.

Jack Wilshere – 16 years, 8 months, 12 days

One of the biggest names on the list.

Jack Wilshere played for Arsenal in 2008 in the 4-0 win over Blackburn.

The 16-year-old was one of England's biggest talents but injuries hampered his career.

So much so, Wilshere retired aged 30.

Ex-England international Wilshere went on to play for the likes of West Ham and Bournemouth after leaving Arsenal.

Angel Gomes – 16 years, 8 months, 20 days

Angel Gomes was once one of Manchester United's biggest prospects.

The tricky midfielder made his debut in 2017 against Crystal Palace.

United won the game.

Gomes, now 22, plays in France for Lille.

Honourable mentions

Names who didn't quite make the top 11 include Man Utd and England legend Wayne Rooney.

Rooney made his Everton debut at 16, like most on this list.

Prem legend James Milner was also a young teenager when he first played.

Milner debuted for Leeds in the 4-3 win over West Ham in 2002.

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