EPL

Arsenal name 15-year-old Nwaneri on bench at Brentford, Odegaard and Zinchenko out

By Sports Desk September 18, 2022

Arsenal named 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri on the bench for their clash with Brentford, where Fabio Vieira will make his first Premier League start due to Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko's absences.

Nwaneri could become the youngest player in Premier League history – surpassing Harvey Elliot's top-flight debut for Fulham, aged just 16 years and 30 days – should he be brought on by Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners were without captain Odegaard after he sustained an injury in training, with Vieira taking his place behind Gabriel Jesus to make his first league start since arriving from Porto in June.

Zinchenko was another absentee with Kieran Tierney in the starting XI at left-back, while Thomas Partey returned from a thigh injury to replace Albert Sambi Lokonga at the base of midfield.

"They are both injured and not available for the game. I don't know [the timescale]," Arteta told Sky Sports before kick-off when asked about Zinchenko and Odegaard. 

"We have the international break right now, so that's going to give us a break. It's two different things, but we don't know yet."

Ben White retained his starting position at right-back despite reports of injury concerns, with Takehiro Tomiyasu on the bench.

Lino Sousa and Reuell Walters were also included in Arteta's youthful matchday squad, and the Arsenal coach acknowledged injury problems have allowed the youngsters a chance to feature.

"We have the opportunity now to bring young players. We had some injuries in the last few weeks, and we are pretty short," the Spaniard added. "But opportunities come when other issues arise."

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