Arsenal will do all they can to retain 16-year-old talent Ethan Nwaneri amid growing links to Manchester City.

According to Football Insider, Arsenal will pull on all stops to convince Ethan Nwaneri to stay with the club. The 16-year-old talent has been heavily linked with a move away with growing links to Manchester City. Mikel Arteta and other coaches are convinced about the youngster’s talents and may put up a fight to keep him.

Mikel Arteta has transformed Arsenal and made them into containers. While he has stuck with his first-team squad for most of the season, the manager has boldly made a mark. Earlier in the season, in the game against Brentford, he introduced a 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri on the pitch, making him the youngest-ever Premier League player.

While that was seen as a statement of intent and fearlessness from the manager, it signified he trusted the boys from the academy. Nwaneri has grown with the Hale End academy, with Under-18 boss Jack Wilshere labelling him an ‘exceptional’ talent.

Arsenal have had much success through their academy ranks, with so many players graduating into the first team in recent years. A few of those are Reiss Nelson, Emile Smith Rowe, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and finally, Bukayo Saka.

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Watching those players develop into stars, Arsenal have a chance to convince Nwaneri to remain with the Hale End Academy and continue his progress. However, many clubs are keen on the 16-year-old talent, who must still sign professional terms.

It will take over a year for Arsenal to offer him a professional contract as fears grow regarding an impending departure. Nwaneri has proven himself in the youth ranks and even with the England Under-17 side after he turned up 12 times for the latter.

Chelsea and Manchester City are keen on signing Nwaneri before the summer to bolster their academy ranks. The London side managed to sign exciting Arsenal talent Omari Hutchison last summer and will hope to follow suit by bringing in Nwaneri.

However, Manchester City seem like big favourites to sign the 16-year-old youngster from Arsenal. They are in the market for many young talents and have recently agreed on a deal for Spike Brits from AFC Wimbledon, who plays as a goalkeeper.

Bringing in Nwaneri will prove as a statement of intent from Manchester City and a big blow for Arsenal in their efforts to keep hold of the best talents from their academy. The 16-year-old represents their future, and the Gunners will pull all stops to ensure he remains at the club.

However, they may also see their 16-year-old talent leave for Manchester City’s academy, whose Under-18 teams have won the last three league titles in that age group. For youngsters to come here won’t surprise many, as they might value the winning mentality more.

The decision to keep hold of Naneri is outside Arsenal’s hands. They will certainly hope for the 16-year-old to remain until he signs professional terms, which guarantees them a reasonable fee if he decides to leave later. For now, Manchester City may have the upper hand in the race, but the Gunners will do all they can to avoid losing a big talent from their academy to their fiercest rival.

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