Many young African footballers always dream of playing in Europe’s biggest clubs, not just to only enrich their personal account or live a flamboyant lifestyle but also to promote the true image of their country.
Besides, the success of many young African footballer in Europe will definitely open windows of opportunity for other aspiring footballers on the continent; something former Golden Eaglets midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali is set to enjoy after signing a five-year contract with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal F.C. early this week in London.
The deal for the highly-rated 17-year-old is understood to be for a £3million fee agreed upon with the country’s Diamond Football Academy.
Nwakali, a box-to-box midfielder, will officially join the Gunners when he turns 18 in June.
He has already had a tour of the Gunners’ facilities in London and has since flown back to Nigeria.
Nwakali was part of the Golden Eaglets team that conquered the world at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, playing a pivotal role in every one of the goals scored in the competition.
His confidence and level of maturity in marshaling the midfield explains why top teams in Europe were scrambling for his signature.
However, what is more paramount at this stage is, will Nwakali rise up to the challenge of emulating the feat of former Arsenal and Super Eagles striker, Nwankwo Kanu?
Interestingly, Nwakali has become the third Nigerian player to be donning the colorful jersey of the Gunners and nothing but excellent football would be expected from him.
He said: “I just came back from London, I have signed a five-year contract with Arsenal. So many teams were interested in me but it has been my dream at a tender age to play for Arsenal.”
Nwakali will join fellow Nigerian Alex Iwobi at the Emirates Stadium when he completes his move to north London.
Iwobi, who has been capped on two occasions by Nigeria, has made 11 appearances for Arsenal this season.
If Nwakali does well to impress Wenger, there are possibilities that he may be drafted to the senior team, something which would be of great benefit to the Super Eagles in the future.