Arsenal are expected to announce the signing of Kelechi Nwakali this week, having agreed terms and completed a medical some months ago.
The midfielder captained his Under-17 Nigeria side to win the Under-17 World Cup back in November, and went onto pick up the Golden Ball award given to the most valuable Player of the tournament.
His international team-mate Samuel Chukwueze was expected to move to Arsenal this summer, having completed a medical and agreeing a five-year deal, but a fee was not reached with the Diamond Football Academy, and now looks set to fall through.
The midfielder is set to sign despite the struggles however, with his brother Allwell Nwakali claiming that nobody is allowed to represent his sibling but him, and that they can sue him if there is an issue. He also revealed that Arsenal had offered much more than Ajax had to secure his arrival, and that the Gunners would represent a much better place for his brother to develop.
Allwell said: “[Ekeocha] came with an offer from Ajax Amsterdam and Arsenal’s offer was three times more and we are talking about euros and pounds here,” he said.
“Arsenal is bigger than Ajax in developing young players. Kelechi has signed with Arsenal, he has done a medical, let him [Ekeocha] sue me if he’s aggrieved not Arsenal.
“I represent Kelechi, nobody can represent my brother. When I was in London, he [Ekeocha] was calling Arsenal not to sign him and the club informed me.”
Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Man City’s impressive youngster Kelechi Iheanacho are all former Golden Ball winners also, and Nwakali could prove to be the next big star to come out of the tournament.
Could Nwakali follow fellow Nigerian Alex Iwobi and earn a place in the Arsenal first-team this season?