World Cup Golden Ball winner’s Arsenal move postponed

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?

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  1. Thank you very much, for this article! ?
    As I got unjustly slatted, yesterday (in more ways than one) for commenting that Kelechi hasn’t signed for Arsenal, yet!

    I won’t mention any names but I will thumb him down forever and a day! ???

  2. If? I wonder if Vlad is close
    to the senior squad?
    Or Bielic ? Or Adelaide?
    At least the club is learning
    to buy cheap youngsters 1 or 2 mill
    rather than rubbish like Walcott 7mill
    Ox 12 mill. Chambers 16 mill
    Wellbeck 16 mill

  3. Arrrgh Kanu

    Remember the invincibles days of Henry, Wiltord, Bergkamp, Kanu, Reyes
    Great forwards to have in our squad
    Same year we got Fabregas, RVP, Clichy and Lehman all for under £5 million
    I wonder if Zelalem, Hayden, Akpom, iwobi, crowley, bielik, toral, niles will mature to top level

  4. Common..Let’s not pretend you weren’t salivating when we bought Walcott and Ox! They showed great potential which is why we took the gamble and bought them. Ox still has time to find his way and Walcott needs to move to a team suited to his strengths to shine more. Chambers is still young and needs to develop more but he hasn’t been rubbish like you suggested. Welbeck apart from his injuries has been great when he played for us last season.

    If you’re gonna comment on players at least be factual and fair. If you simply personally dislike them state that instead. Same way some people will call Giroud all kinds of names for missing chances but don’t say anything when other strikers do it.

    1. I agree, yesterday vardy, kane sterling etc had 29 chances between them and did not score. According to many it was the managers fault.

      By all means criticise giroud but be objective about it. Look at barren streaks with other strikers ( kane had one beginning last season at start of PL and tottenham got off to a poor start). We look at complete games for arsenal and see and remenber the misses. With other teams we see highlights, remember the goals and forget the misses.

      Giroud to date has been relatively injury free, a big bonus for an arsenal player.

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