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Arsenal news: Wonderkid playing four years above his age bosses game as excitement grows | Football | Sport

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been sent a fresh reminder of the serious talent in his academy after teenage prospect Max Dowman dazzled for the Under-18s on Saturday. The 14-year-old has played four years above his age group on multiple occasions this campaign and he is rapidly working his way through the England youth ranks.

The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah have successfully graduated from Arsenal’s academy and into the first team in recent years. And there are plenty more working away behind the scenes in the hope of following suit.

Ethan Nwaneri has appeared off the bench this season, as he did last term, despite only turning 17 earlier this month. There is also serious excitement surrounding 16-year-old Chido Obi-Martin.

The striker gained notoriety for scoring 10 goals in a demolition of Liverpool’s Under-16s earlier this term. And he was on target again four times this weekend as Arsenal’s youngsters dispatched Fulham 5-2.

Obi-Martin playing two years above his age group and impacting the game so significantly is hugely impressive. But perhaps even more eye-catching from the Fulham victory was Dowman, playing with prospects four years older than him, notching three assists and winning a penalty.

Gunners fans are reluctant to place too much pressure on the 14-year-old at this stage of his development, but the manner with which he is handling high-quality youth opposition has set tongues wagging.

Nwaneri is the youngest player ever to appear in a senior match for Arsenal (15 years and 181 days), setting the record by coming off the bench against Brentford in 2022.

Any threat of Dowman challenging that is still seemingly some way off, with the Gunners in the thick of a Premier League title battle, which will continue with a daunting trip to face Manchester City on Sunday.

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