Wenger confirms Nigerian youth signings close


Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the club are close to signing two Nigerian youth players.

Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze have been on the club’s radar since the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last year, and the manager is hoping to add both of them before the transfer window closes on Monday night at 11pm.

Speaking today, Wenger outlined some issues affecting the transfers, but was hopeful the deals would be done in time.

“Talks are progressing well,” he said, “but there are work permit issues. There are medical issues, because they have to make medicals. Itโ€™s progressing well.

“We identified Nwakali as the player of the tournament, basically, and as a top player. We will see if we can manage to get it over the line during this transfer period.

“Chukwueze is signing as well.”

Clearly these are players for the future, rather than first team options. Having already brought in Mohamed Elneny, and with Alexis Sanchez, Tomas Rosicky, Francis Coquelin, and Danny Welbeck all back, or close to it, Wenger more or less ruled out any further transfer activity this month.

“Unless people go out, we are not on the verge of bringing anyone in,” he said. Whether that includes Mathieu Debuchy remains to be seen.

Listen to this week’s round-table Arsecast, discussing current form, Mohamed Elneny and lots more


  1. As a Nigerian Gooner, I am very happy about these impending signings,both are really good players that have bright futures under the tutelage of the great Arsene Wenger.

    COYG!! From Nigeria with Love

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    • ‘From Nigeria With Love’ sounds like a blaxploitation James Bond film. Pretty sure I’ve seen it for sale on Ridley Road.

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  2. Given the amount of Nigerian fans we have and the fact that these two players contributed massively to their winning the U-17 world cup, there could be exciting times afoot for both Nigeria and Arsenal should they both live up to their potential.
    Good news.

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    • The Jeff, Maitland-Niles, Zelalem, Bielik, Crowley in addition to El Neny (23) and Wilshere (24), our midfield of 2018/19 is already crowded.

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  3. Nwakali doesn’t look that great on YouTube from the 3 minute clip I saw.

    Which bodes Well i suppose as Yaya Sanogo looked awesome on YouTube.

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  4. I love “youtube-players”!
    They are always amazing and makes Messi look average ๐Ÿ™‚

    Iยดll never forget when a Swedish team started signing players from the baltic states becasue the baltic agents keept sending dvd:s of their players (this was in a before youtube world). The Swedish club saw these amazing clips of players scoring dream goals, dribbling past whole teams etc. and said to the press that “we have just signed a couple of amazing players”.

    After a couple of games the “dvd-baltics” became the biggest laughing stock of the league since they barely could run with the ball without falling over. After a couple of weeks they just disappeared, never to be seen again.

    The 90ยดs was a sweet and innocent time ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Like Graeme Souness signing George Weah’s cousin for Southampton. Came on as a substitute then they realised he was terrible and had to substitute him off.

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  5. Yawn.
    So, no sign of that striker we need eh?
    Thumbs up if: Wenger should stay if we don’t win this piss poor premier league despite our cracking squad?
    Thumbs down if he should step down.

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    • Bored of saying this on here but do you honestly think there’s someone available, in January, better than the Walcott, Giroud and Welbeck trio we currently have?
      And also, although the top teams aren’t as ‘top’ as they often are, it’s been decades since players the quality of Cabaye, Payet, Mahrez, Shaqiri, Igahlo, Lukaku, Hazard etc have played for the ‘lower’ teams. I think winning it this year would be just as big an achievement as winning it in the years when you had a few games a season that you’d face genuinely good footballers and the rest had to just roll over the shit ones and put up with a few trying to kick you off the pitch.
      I actually think it’s far more likely Wenger will step down were we to win the league. Perhaps with Pep coming in with Arteta as his assistant…

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        • I really think it makes sense. Won’t give you the ‘in the know’ nonsense but someone reckoned it was potentially on the cards. Told him he was talking nonsense and forgot about it until the Bayern game when they were out on the Emirates pitch for over an hour post-game discussing something. More I’ve thought about it the more it fits, Arsene out on a blaze of glory and satiates the fans’ need for a ‘big name’ manager, and even though he has spent a tonne of money he strikes me as someone who’d want a club with an identiy (i.e. not City). Between us and United I’d say, and I can’t see his football working with players like United’s who’re technically pretty average for the most part. Personally think it’d be a huge risk, given that I’m fairly sure any one of us could’ve won trophies inheriting those Bayern/ Barca teams, but even so. Perhaps I’m doing 2 + 2 and getting 5 but you never know!

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      • Bored of responding to the idea there is no one out there we could buy. There are better strikers than Walcott and Welbeck available, and who could provide decent cover to Giroud. Charlie Austin just went to Southampton for peanuts and has a great strike conversion rate. Not the world class player we all want, but could have done a job. There will be others…like remy we could have got a few years ago too or Pato. It is a fallacy rolled out by Wenger and his apologists that we can’t buy anyone, and each year the title slips away because we do not invest properly in new players. This season is no different.

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      • And I’m bored of replying. Collectively no I don’t think there are better strikers available in January than Walcott, Welbeck & Giroud but when you have our luck with injuries and you have multiple players out in the same position (Welbeck has been out for an age and it Theo hadn’t been back for long) you’re left with ONE FIT STRIKER & you won’t win the league like that.

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  6. Been a while since we signed any exciting African talent, i will be following their progress with fingers crossed that we have another Kanu or Lauren

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  7. Only possible signing is potential RB cover if we let Debuchy go out, but even then I don’t see Wenger adding anyone. Anyone he does add will have a tough time making it into the squad and is more of a future prospect like the majority of his January buys have been lately.

    Great to continually add to your youth corps, but honestly don’t expect to see many of these players signed over the last year for the youth ranks to make it to the first team. You never know though and there is always that special one like Fabregas, Bellerin, etc. that will come through which is why you look to stock the shelves with as many young players as possible with high potential.

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  8. I’m always happy when emerging Nigerian talents join big European clubs.happier that they’re joining the ARSENAL.

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