Nico Yennaris

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Nico Yennaris
Nico Yennaris 2012.JPG
Personal information
Full name Nicholas Harry Yennaris[1]
Date of birth (1993-05-24) 24 May 1993 (age 22)
Place of birth Leytonstone, England
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Full back
Club information
Current team
Number 28
Youth career
2001–2011 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2014 Arsenal 1 (0)
2012 Notts County (loan) 2 (0)
2013–2014 Bournemouth (loan) 0 (0)
2014– Brentford 8 (0)
2015 Wycombe Wanderers (loan) 14 (1)
National team
2009 England U17 2 (0)
2010 England U18 1 (0)
2010–2012 England U19 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 01:26, 28 February 2015 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:39, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Nicholas Harry "Nico" Yennaris (born 24 May 1993) is an English professional footballer who plays for Brentford as a full back. He began his career in the academy at Premier League side Arsenal and has been described as a "rugged, all action defensive player, with a positive, winning mentality".[2] He won 10 caps for England between U17 and U19 level.

Club career[edit]


Early career[edit]

Yennaris was born in Leytonstone, London. His father's family is of Greek Cypriot origin and his mother's is of Chinese origin.[3] He joined the Arsenal Academy in May 2001 at age seven and progressed through the ranks.[4] Injuries in 2008 halted his progress and the club were planning to release him just weeks before he signed two-year scholarship deal in 2009.[2] Yennaris began his career as a striker[5] and was moved back into a central midfield position, later moving to full back.[6] On 10 February 2010, Yennaris made his reserve team debut in a 1–0 Premier Reserve League South win over Stoke City, coming on as an 85th minute substitute for Craig Eastmond.[7] Yennaris won his first silverware with the club when he captained the U18 side to the 2009–10 Premier Academy League title.[8] Yennaris signed his first professional contract in July 2010,[9] but missed much of the 2010–11 season with a long-standing ankle problem.[2]

Professional debut[edit]

Yennaris was awarded the number 56 shirt for the 2011–12 season and received his first call up to the senior squad for a League Cup third round tie versus Shrewsbury Town on 29 September 2011.[10] He was an unused substitute for the 3–1 win. Yennaris' competitive first team debut for Arsenal (playing at right back) came on 25 October 2011 in the following round versus Bolton Wanderers, playing the full 90 minutes of the 2–1 win.[11] In November and December, Yennaris was an unused substitute for League Cup fifth round and Champions League group stage defeats to Manchester City[12] and Olympiacos[13] respectively and signed a contract extension.[14] On 9 January 2012, Yennaris made his first FA Cup appearance for Arsenal, coming on as a 33rd minute substitute for the injured Francis Coquelin at right back, as Arsenal beat Leeds United 1–0 in the third round.[15] On 15 January 2012, Yennaris received his first call into the first team squad for a Premier League game, when he was an unused substitute for Arsenal's 3–2 defeat at Swansea City.[16] He made his league debut in the following game, coming off the bench to replace Johan Djourou at half time of a 2–1 defeat to Manchester United.[17] Yennaris made three first team appearances during the 2011–12 season[18] and 17 appearances for the reserves, scoring one goal.

Looking back on his maiden appearances for the first team, Yennaris said "it was a great opportunity for me. I had a bit of luck as some injuries in the squad gave me the chance to show the boss what I’ve got and I thought I did quite well. I just want to keep working hard in training and in the reserves and you never know what can happen".[19] Yennaris was included Arsenal's squad for their 2012 Asian summer tour and played in two of the three matches.[20] He signed a contract extension in the summer of 2012.[20] Yennaris made his first appearance of the 2012–13 season in a 6–1 League Cup third round win over Coventry City, playing the full 90 minutes and assisting Theo Walcott for Arsenal's fourth goal.[21] An unused substitute appearance in the following round's incredible 7–5 win over Reading[22] was Yennaris' final call into the first team of the season.[23] Yennaris appeared for Arsenal U19s in the 2012–13 NextGen Series and sent Arsenal through to the quarter-finals by scoring the only goal of the game past Inter Milan Primavera goalkeeper Raffaele Di Gennaro from 30 yards in the round of 16.[24] Arsenal finished fourth in the competition. Yennaris received his only call up to the first team of the 2013–14 season for a 2–0 League Cup fourth round defeat to Chelsea on 29 October 2013.[25] Having entered the final year of his contract,[26] Yennaris revealed that he would be willing to go out on loan in order to play regularly and gain experience.[27] Yennaris departed Arsenal on 27 January 2014, having made only four senior appearances for the club.[28]

Notts County (loan)[edit]

On 23 March 2012, Yennaris joined League One side Notts County on an emergency loan for the remainder of the 2011–12 season. He was awarded the number 37 shirt and made his debut with a start in a 0–0 draw with Scunthorpe United the following day.[29] Yennaris started the following game against Oldham Athletic and was replaced by Hamza Bencherif after an hour of the 1–0 win. He made two appearances during his spell with the club and returned to Arsenal early through injury.[18]

Bournemouth (loan)[edit]

Yennaris joined Championship club Bournemouth on 28 November 2013, on loan until 2 January 2014.[30] Upon his arrival, Yennaris said "I think it will be a good experience for me, just to get out and fight for a first team place and hopefully I can help the team while I’m here".[31] He was an unused substitute on three occasions and failed to make an appearance for the club.[28]


On 27 January 2014, Yennaris joined League One side Brentford for an undisclosed fee on a two-and-a-half-year contract.[4] He took over the number 28 shirt, vacated by Cardiff City loanee Ben Nugent.[32] Manager Mark Warburton said Yennaris "is a very talented player, technically good and physically sound. He has a real tactical astuteness for a young player. We are delighted to secure him permanently. I thank the senior staff at Arsenal for their help in finalising the deal".[4] Warburton had previously seen Yennaris play for Arsenal in the NextGen Series, a competition the Brentford manager helped organise.[4] Yennaris made his debut in a 1–1 draw at Shrewsbury Town on 1 February.[33] He was replaced by Adam Forshaw after suffering an injury on 50 minutes. Yennaris had to wait until 1 March for his next appearance, filling in for the injured Alan McCormack in a 0–0 draw with Carlisle United.[34][35] He made sporadic appearances through to the end of a successful season for the club, securing automatic promotion to the Championship after a 1–0 victory over Preston North End on 18 April.[36] Though he made only eight appearances during the second half of the 2013–14 season,[37] Yennaris received a League One runners-up medal after the final game of the season against Stevenage.[38][39] After the match, he said "it was always the plan when I came here, to win promotion. The manager made it clear what his plans were and his plans for me. Everyone wants to play Premier League football. If I can get closer with Brentford, it is great".[40]

Yennaris made his first appearance of the 2014–15 season in a League Cup first round match versus Dagenham & Redbridge on 12 August 2014, lasting just 20 minutes before suffering a back injury.[41] After recovering and then suffering a thigh injury in September,[42][43] Yennaris had to wait until 3 January 2015 to make his second appearance of the season, which came in a 2–0 FA Cup third round defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion, replacing Alan Judge after 88 minutes.[44] A suspension incurred by Jake Bidwell in mid-February looked to have secured an opening for Yennaris at left back, but he managed just one appearance in a 3-0 defeat to Charlton Athletic, before being dropped in favour of left midfielder Stuart Dallas.[45] He spent the remainder of the campaign away on loan and finished the 2014–15 season with just three appearances.[46]

Wycombe Wanderers (loan)[edit]

On 27 February, Yennaris and Brentford teammate Sam Saunders joined League Two side Wycombe Wanderers on a one-month loan,[47] which was later extended until the end of the 2014–15 season.[48][49] He made his debut the following day with a start in a 2-2 draw with Stevenage, playing in central midfield.[50] Three matches later, after moving to right back, Yennaris assisted Sam Wood for the only goal of the game versus Shrewsbury Town and his performance won Football League Team of the Week recognition.[51] Yennaris showed his versatility by stepping in at centre back for the suspended Aaron Pierre, but could not prevent the Chairboys from slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Morecambe on 25 April.[52] He scored the first ever senior goal of his career in Wycombe's 3-2 final-day win over Northampton Town,[46] which confirmed a fourth-place finish and qualification for the end-of-season playoffs.[53] His season ended in heartbreak after a shootout defeat to Southend United in the playoff final.[54] He returned to Brentford following the match, having made 17 appearances and scored one goal for the Chairboys.[28]

International career[edit]

Yennaris represented England at U17, U18 and U19 level.[55] He made two appearances in the U17s' successful 2009 Nordic Tournament campaign.[56] His solitary U18 cap came with a starting appearance in a 3–0 friendly win over Poland on 16 November 2010, playing alongside Arsenal teammate Chuks Aneke.[56] Yennaris played in six friendlies for the U19s in late 2011 and early 2012, which were scheduled after the team received a bye to the elite round of the 2012 European U19 Championship qualifying. He was not called up for the elite round or the finals. Yennaris is also eligible to represent China and Cyprus at international level.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Yennaris is lifelong Arsenal supporter and was a mascot for a match at Highbury versus Coventry City on 16 September 2000.[57][58]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 25 May 2015.[28]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arsenal 2011–12[18] Premier League 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 0
2012–13[23] 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2013–14[37] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 4 0
Notts County (loan) 2011–12[18] League One 2 0 2 0
Bournemouth (loan) 2012–13[23] Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brentford 2013–14[37] League One 8 0 8 0
2014–15[46] Championship 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 0
Total 9 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
Wycombe Wanderers (loan) 2014–15[46] League Two 14 1 3[a] 0 17 1
Career total 26 1 2 0 3 0 3 0 34 1
  1. ^ Appearances in Football League play-offs






England U17

  • Nordic Tournament (1): 2009



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  38. ^ "BBC Sport – Brentford 2–0 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 
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External links[edit]