Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning captain,, Kelechi Nwakali has received a heartwarming send off message from Arsenal of England, following his full transfer to SD Huesca of Spain, following his inability to step up at Emirates Stadium, after signing for The Gunners in 2016.
However, in the wake of the confirmation of Nwakali’s long-drawn summer transfer deal, Arsenal went public with a statement wishing the 21-year-old midfielder well at his new port of call in the Spanish Segunda Division.
Huesca are expected to unveil the midfielder before the week ends, as he is expected to get his medicals immediately he lands at Aragon, then sign a three-year contract that has a clause for him to leave if the club fails to get promotion to La Liga in his first season, while Arsenal gave the nod without a transfer fee, with a sell-on-buy-back proviso included in the agreement.
It marks a new chapter for Nwakali, who signed for Arsenal in September 2016, a year after winning the Golden Ball as best player at the 2015 Cadet Mundial in Chile, but The Gunners loaned him in quick succession to VVV Venlo and MVV Maastricht of Holland as well as FC Porto of Portugal last season, but he is now in a permanent contract at Estadio El Alcoraz.
Nwakali, who was courted by Ajax Amsterdam, Olympiakos, Fenerbahce, Udinese and Sporting Lisbon after winning the Golden Ball at Chile 2015, becomes the third Nigerian player to depart Arsenal in the summer transfer window after Alex Iwobi and Xavier Amaechi.
Arsenal’s message read: “We would like to wish Kelechi all the best for the future. The Nigeria international joined us in 2016 after captaining his country at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, where he won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player.”
The youngster was quick to react, and he thanked English club Arsenal despite leaving the Premier League side without making any first team appearances.
The 20-year-old Nwakali, who made 16 appearance on loan at FC Porto’s B side last season before the deal was cut short due to visa problems, but the youngster is grateful for his time in North London, has played for Nigeria at all youth levels.
In August 2018, he earned a call-up to the senior Nigeria squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Seychelles, but did not play, then debutted for the B-squad in a friendly against Spanish club Atletico Madrid five months before.
Nwakali declared: “It’s been a good journey with Arsenal since 2016 despite never played (sic) any official game for them.
“I have gained a lot from my time here and everybody involved with the club have been great to me.
“I just want to say a big thank you and goodbye, because it is time to move on, time for another chapter and another challenge.”