Arsenal youngster Max Dowman was handed his U18s debut by former Gunners star Jack Wilshere this weekend, despite being only 13 years old.

The north London side ran out 4-0 winners over Southampton, but it was Dowman’s debut that caught the eye.

The midfielder became the youngest ever player to feature in a U18 Premier League fixture when he appeared off the bench for the Gunners.

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Wilshere was delighted for Dowman and believes that he “deserves this chance” after impressing in the younger age groups of Arsenal’s youth set-up.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who is the club’s U18 manager, said after the game: “We take a holistic view of the academy, pushing our players to excel.

“Debut opportunities aren't handed out lightly, and Max has demonstrated over the past few months that he deserves this chance. There are others on the verge of stepping up as well.

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“He handled the moment admirably, sending an important message to the team that when we introduce players, they possess the quality to contribute effectively.”

Arsenal’s goals in the game came courtesy of a Chido Obi hat-trick and one from Louis Zecevic-John.

Obi had never previously scored at U18 level and Wilshere admitted: “Today was the day he truly arrived at the under-18s level. He showcased to me, the coaches, and the staff what he's capable of, and we're eager to see more of that.”

Ethan Nwaneri’s Premier League debut

It’s not the first time that Arsenal has made history in regards to youngsters in the past year, either.

In September 2022, Ethan Nwaneri was given his Premier League debut against Brentford last season, with the Englishman becoming the youngest ever debutant in the competition’s history at 15 years of age.

He replaced Fabio Viera in the 90th minute of a 3-0 win over the Bees to break a record previously held by Harvey Elliott. Nwaneri was precisely 15 years, five months and 23 days old when he made his English top flight debut.

2023-09-26T06:23:17Z dg43tfdfdgfd