Arsenal 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri made three appearances at the Montaigu Tournament this week, as the England u16s finished third at the event.
The Montaigu Tournament is an annual u16 event contested by various top national teams, with Argentina, Portugal, France, Belgium, Brazil, England, the Netherlands, and Mexico competing in this year’s event.
The long-running tournament has seen appearances from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Andrea Pirlo, and Thierry Henry in the past. More recently, Arsenal have sent the likes of Charlie Patino and Marcelo Flores to take part.
Arsenal’s participant this year was young Ethan Nwaneri.
The teenage midfielder has been making rapid progress for club and country this year, featuring for the Arsenal u18s on a number of occasions and making his England u16 debut in February.
But Nwaneri started the Montaigu Tournament on the bench for England, making a 13-minute substitute appearance as they drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in their opening group game last Tuesday.
Nwaneri then got his first start of the event against Mexico, and he capped it with a goal and an assist in a big 3-0 win.
He was then back on the bench as England were soundly beaten by Brazil 3-0 in the final group game, confirming a runners-up finish.
That meant a third-place play-off against the runner-up from the other group – Portugal.
Nwaneri returned to the starting lineup for that play-off on Monday, playing 72 minutes as England drew 1-1 before seeing off the opposition in a comfortable penalty shootout. Sam Proctor made two saves as England won 4-1.
Though England couldn’t make the final on this occasion, Nwaneri will be pleased to have earned more minutes with the team, and to have made a positive contribution in the matches he played.
He’ll now return to Arsenal for their final few u18 league fixtures of the season.