‘Not convinced’: TalkSPORT pundit thinks Mikel Arteta may end up regretting handing Arsenal talent his debut
Arteta’s men cruised to a 3-0 win at the Gtech Community Stadium over the weekend to remain at the top of the Premier League.
Goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira sealed another important three points for the Gunners.
And Arteta even handed a debut to 15-year-old teenager Nwaneri, who became the youngest ever Premier League player against Brentford.
The midfielder came on as a substitute aged just 15 years and 181 days old, and broke the previous record held by Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott (Sky Sports).
But Murphy thinks it may be looked back on as a mistake by Arteta in years to come.
Murphy thinks Arteta may end up regretting Nwaneri debut
“I’m not convinced it’s the best move for a young player, I’m really not,” he said.
“I have seen superstars come on the scene at a young age and thrive and go on and carry on.
“But there’s also been a lot who have fallen by the wayside. He’s obviously a super talent, he’s obviously doing well in training and impressing everybody.
“But they’ve got other 18, 19 and 20-year-olds who are probably further ahead in their development who could’ve gone on the bench.
“I think it’s probably trying to keep a young superstar happy a little bit, which is what managers do, I get that.
“But I would be more concerned with sometimes what that can do because you can elevate 15, 16 and 17-year-olds sometimes to a position that becomes very difficult for them to cope with mentally because they’re already becoming a superstar.
“I can imagine his Instagram went up by about 300,000 in a day and things like this.
“People might laugh at this and think ‘stop being cynical and skeptical’. Very few players at 17, nevermind 15, burst onto the Premier League scene and do what [Wayne] Rooney and Michael Owen did. Very few.”
Murphy then went on to say that Arteta could end up regretting the decision in the future.
He added: “I just think it could be something that Arteta maybe with hindsight wouldn’t have done if he looks back.”
The former Liverpool man did add that he could be doing Nwaneri an ‘injustice’ and that he could be a phenomenal talent.
But Murphy reiterated that he thinks younger players should be protected and managers should be overcautious with up-and-coming stars.
Nwaneri was only on the pitch for a couple of minutes against Brentford but made history in doing so.
The England U17 international will be hoping to get more opportunities under Arteta, with plenty of Europa League games to come.
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