Kelechi Nwakali agreed terms on a move to Arsenal months ago, but the deal has been further delayed at present.
The 18 year-old helped his side to win the Under-17 World Cup back in November, and was awarded the most valuable player award, which has previously been won by Man city’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas.
The Nigerian agreed contractual terms with our club early in 2016 and completed a medical, but was unable to sign officially until his 18th birthday, which was earlier in June.
He was expected to be in line to jet in to complete the deal before joining up with the Gunners first-team for pre-season, but his brother has now confirmed he will be staying in Nigeria to take on Sudan in the Under-20 World Cup qualifiers unless he can be granted special leave by his international coach.
“Kelechi is supposed to sign this month after he clocked 18, but due to the national assignment he won’t be leaving immediately,” Allwell Nwakali informed.
“As soon as they are through with the games against Sudan, he will move but if the (Nigeria U20) coach can give him between two to three weeks, he will travel.”
He will travel to Sudan for the first match on July 8, before playing the reverse fixture on July 22 back in Nigeria, and will then be able to travel to London to sign the pre-agreed deal.
Nwakali is reported to have a five-year contract lined up, and will be given the number 25 squad number, previously worn by club and Nigeria legend Nwanku Kanu.
The award he won for his part in the Under-17 World Cup shows he has great potential. Do you think he could break into our first-team squad as early as this season though?