Freddy Adu hails ‘best wonderkid in football’ Jude Bellingham and Arsenal record-breaker Ethan Nwaneri
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 26
Bellingham is already a star player in European football (Picture: Getty)

Former USA sensation Freddy Adu has named Jude Bellingham football’s top wonderkid, also hailing Arsenal’s ‘extremely impressive’ Ethan Nwaneri.

Adu became a teenage sensation after making his professional debut aged just 14 for DC United, making him the youngest player ever to appear in United States professional sports and earning a trial with Manchester United.

The forward held ‘wonderkid’ status for a number of years, particularly among Football Manager die-hards, but at 33, can now turn to today’s emerging stars, naming Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham as the most exciting talent in European football right now.

‘Right now I would have to say Jude Bellingham,’ Adu told . ‘The reason for saying Bellingham is that for someone at the age of 19, the way he plays and the impact he is having, he’s playing like someone with 10 years more experience in the game – and that is very rare to see.

‘And he’s doing it for a big team in Germany. If you look past the slightly older Mbappé and Haaland, you’d have to say Bellingham. He’s a midfielder that makes a massive difference.’

15-year-old Nwaneri broke records in September when he came off the Arsenal bench to make his Premier League debut against Brentford, making him the youngest player to appear in the top flight of English football

‘I think Ethan is extremely impressive, especially given the league that he’s making that debut in the Premier League, which is the best league in the world,’ Adu said of the Arsenal starlet.

Adu signed for DC United when he was just 14 (Picture: Getty)

‘To get your debut at 15 and for a big team at that, in that league; that’s pretty impressive.’

Having had the child prodigy experience himself, Adu has warned ‘talent can only take you so far’, urging Nwaneri to avoid distractions in the coming years.

‘There are a lot of distractions when you’re at that age, and Ethan is doing something that is not very common.

‘It’s very unique and he’s going to get a lot of attention with a lot of people talking about him, which can bring a lot of fame – and you have to be able to handle that. It’s harder said than done, especially at that age.

Nwaneri made his Arsenal debut in the 3-0 win at Brentford (Picture: Getty)

 ‘He’s just got to keep working hard, because it’s hard work that got him there in the first place, and you can never rest on your laurels.

‘You can never take anything for granted. You have to cherish it, and you have to work your tail off even harder than you did before. Talent can only take you so far, and talent alone is not enough.’

Adu made his debut in a version of Major League Soccer that was still very much in its infancy with Nwaneri’s coming while Arsenal are riding high as Premier League leaders.

The Londoner has since returned to Under-18s football where his development will continue, with Adu warning the level of English football will make the job of breaking through even tougher than he found it.

‘I think it’s going to be a lot harder for Ethan than it was for me because he’s already playing as such a big club, with so many world-class players at Arsenal, and in the best league in the world.

‘I had my chance with DC United at 14, but the league wasn’t at the same level as the Premier League, so it’s going to be a lot harder for Ethan get consistent playing time. So that is why he’s going to have to absolutely work his tail off to succeed, because he’s already starting at a much harder level than I did.’

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