Nwakali confirms Arsenal deal


Kelechi Nwakali, has confirmed that he’s fulfiled a childhood dream by penning a five-year deal at Arsenal.

The teenager, who captained the victorious Nigeria side at the under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, is believed to have completed a move to the Emirates along with 16-year-old compatriot Samuel Chukwueze.

“I just came back from London, I have signed a five-year contract with Arsenal, ” Nwakali told allnigeriasoccer.com on Wednesday morning.

“So many teams were interested in me but it has been my dream at a tender age to play for A

It’s understood the Gunners beat the likes of Manchester City, West Ham, Chelsea, Sporting Lisbon and Udinese to Nwakali’s signing.

Arsene Wenger revealed in January that negotiations for Nwakali and Chukwueze, who are both associated with the All Star Junior Academy, had progressed well although no confirmation of the deals has been relayed through official channels.

A photo, posted on Instagram by Nigerian football expert Colin Udoh in the aftermath of Wenger’s comments, showed Nwakali meeting Wenger and Ivan Gazidis in the company of ‘Invincible’ Kanu.

Exclusive first pics of Nwakali with @papilokanu and Arsene Wenger at @Arsenal

A photo posted by Colin Udoh (@colinudoh) on


  1. it’s not exactly the TR7 contract signing dungeon room, is it?

    perhaps that’s the lure. the bright, well-lit room with furniture and stuff.

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    • No, that was Tomas’ personal Metal Dungeon listening room they set up just for him deep below London Colney.

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  2. I am a Nigerian and I can tell you that this boy is a star in the making. He will gladen the heart of many an Arsenal fan.

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    • Why is it difficult to applaud the next bright star? What do you lose if he is not the next bright star? A clap?

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    • How do you think the first team ended up with the likes of Bellerin, Iwobi, Coquelin, Gibbs, Chambo and a host of other “next bright stars’. Muppet

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  3. Nigerian support for Arsenal cannot be underestimated, Nigeria has the biggest Arsenal fanbase outside of Europe. Must be very exciting for Nigerian fans with Iwobi showing great promise in his first team outings and the signings of Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze. It is very heartwarming to see a young talented player choose to play for Arsenal FC over other big clubs and he must be delighted to sign for a club he not only supports but one which will offer him first team chances if he works hard. Welcome to Arsenal!!

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  4. Welcome to Arsenal, Kelechi! Looks like a top prospect. Iwobi will show him the ropes of course.

    Pretty sure Kanu must’ve played a huge part in this transfer, him being an Invincible and all.

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  5. Welcome Nwakali, I hope you will be remembered for good in the Gunner’s jersey.
    Nigerians, congratulations on a step into the future.

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  6. I do wish the scouting set-up in Ireland was as thorough. My wife’s cousin is playing for Ireland U17s as a fifteen year old. He was captain of U15 and U16 sides and coveted by Aston Villa, Leicester, Blackburn and his favourite team Man Utd. Utd have gone above and beyond to sign him. Arsenal reps made two calls asking if it’d be ok to approach him, but never followed up. He told me he’d have jumped at the chance as he’s a sensible kid who is interested in getting the best chances. He would’ve liked Southampton due to their academy. Last week I watched him destroy the Switzerland U17 left back. Sadly he’ll probably go to Utd while Arsenal won’t have looked.

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    • You do not realise how good those two were. During the World cup they were miles above the rest and they won the final comfortably. We cannot devellop a whole ploton of players to the risk of them not having enough game time. Arsenal made the choice and I beleive their scout is already well above average. The player has to fit the arsenal way as most as possible and at the end of the day it”s a gamble

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  7. So happy arsenal is getting back to signing African players and especially Nigerian/Nigerian descent players.
    Arsenal is a fucking big deal in naija and we were disappointed that arsenal cancelled the preseason match here a few summers ago.
    On a side note happy these guys are choosing to play for Nigeria (The super eagles are even more frustrating than the gunners) but the prospect of iwobi & Co being the future of two great teams is jizz worthy.
    Come on arsenal. Naija till I die

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  8. Welcome to Arsenal lads.
    I will never forget Kanu effortlessly leaping over Wiltord’s head when he scored and we won at Old Trafford!

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  9. Funny how Arsenal’s fanbase became so big in Africa because of the barren spell without trophies. Arsenal is the Most supported English club in Africa. The entire Continent besides South Africa (United) and Ivory coast (Drogba) is dominated by Arsenal. People dont even know the Invincibles existed. Logical people chose support this team not because of big signings trophies. Fans were not attracted to the podium finishes or the transfer market competition. We live on a continent were we know the value of money and the only team worth a person’s hard earned money is Arsenal. Arsenal is supported by Football people in Africa,. So many players from here wanna play for Arsenal.

    We dont share the medals or prize money with the team. We dont get anything from transfer market moves, links, enquires or rumours. Arsenal is loved in Africa because of its football and nothing else. We just wanna watch this club play. Win, Draw or Lose, we play OUR football. Call us naive or whatever, but Arsenal is football. Arsenal gives joy even in a loss because every club loses, but our football is there for all of us to enjoy.

    Dont get me wrong and think we are emotionally detached from the clubs highs and lows. It is painful to lose or draw. But we did not start getting premier league games on this continent till after the move to the Emirates. We were never attracted to this club because of its history ( lol @ deluded liverfool) or players like Kanu, Lauren or Viera. Players, coaches and football administrators on this continent love this club because of what the club stands for, our football philosophy, youth policy, Arsene Wenger and most importantly, for the club’s pride in it’s identity no matter the hatred from all parts of England for how we run the club.

    I just wanted to put it out there of the enormous following this club has on an impoverished continent. here we just wanna watch the club play. win, draw or lose, we stand behind this club because it is the most relatable club in England for us to follow. It’s a pity Arsenal has no academy on this continent or a bigger contingent of African players.

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  10. i find this to be a very moving comment, and in my opinion sums up nicely, what it feels like be a gooner…..anywhere in the world,

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  12. One love Arsenal for signing the best kids. Fabregas and Vella were also exceptional at youth world cups. Also a great thing to see another countrymate signed at Arsenal.

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