Saturday, January 28, 2023

Nigerian starlets set to join Arsenal Academy

According to various reports, Arsenal are close to pipping Bayern Munich and Manchester City to the signing of two highly-rated Nigerian teenagers.

Kelechi Nwakali [pictured] and Samuel Chukwueze, stars of last year’s successful under-17 World Cup winners, will reportedly cost a combined fee of £3 million.

Nwakali, 17, and Chukwueze, 16, are both associated with the All Star Junior Academy, with the latter’s economic rights also owned in part by Diamond Football Academy.

A cursory Google search tells us Nwakali is represented by Stellar, the same company that works with Gareth Bale, and that his older brother is on Manchester City’s books. He captained the ‘Golden Eaglets’ to glory in Chile last year and was also voted the tournament’s Golden Ball winner.

Chukwueze, who scored three and assisted three at the same tournament, says he bases his game on Arjen Robben. Ho hum…I’m sure we can find him a better role model.

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Any chance the rumours of another boy of Nigerian descent, Ola Ainia from Chelsea signing. Rumours abound we will get him in the summer as a replacement for Debuchy and/or Jenkinson.




Let’s hope they continue the great tradition that kanu set(becoming great players for the club and scoring 3 goals in 5 mins against Chelsea )

Timothy Lumsden

Oh yeah man. That was just awesome. Kanu kick it? Yes he can.

Mr Eko

If it’s true, I wish them the very best.



I’m a Nigerian and this makes me happy. Chukwueze will run at the defense all day: I know it sounds like praisesinging but I’ll call him the New Arjen Robben because his game seemed modeled around pace and guile. Nwakali was the Captain and the CAM for the team. Noting we are stock in this area both now and in future makes me think Osimhen, the team striker, would have been a more astute buy. But it is what it is.


This is very correct, chukwueze unfortunately plays exactly like arjen robben, very skillful,fast and intelligent and most importantly he seems like he has a good head on his shoulder.

Andy Mack

Is he also a ‘Diver’ like Robben?


He isn’t a diver. You can watch him on youtube – Nigeria U17 v Chile. He made the Chilean defence look utterly hapless.

Parisian Weetabix

“unfortunately” – does anyone really have a problem with Robben’s playing style? Sure he’s not quite Messi but he’s got wicked pace, touch, dribbling, volleying and finishing skills. I can even tolerate diving as being representative of a will to win at all costs, provided it’s done tactfully and doesn’t take the piss. Robben’s main issue is his miserable attitude.


Of course…Bar Ozil and maybe Alexis, he’s better than all our players and would easily get into the first 11 of any team in the epl.

Clock-End Mike

I was with you all the way until you went on to his diving.

NEVER TOLERATE CHEATING! It ruins the beautiful game.


And Robben, in spite of his size, strength and skill, is a diving cunt and unfortunately for him he will be remembered more for the former than the latter.


Nice. Ones for the future.


Nigerian I am Nwakali good guy great skills strong and agile good news if it is true


What he really said was ” I base my game on how Robben plays, without being a divey cheating cunt”.

Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

Two more ‘wonderkids’. Let’s hope they live up to the hype.

Wenger's love child

Arsenal is a religion in Africa and Nigeria is it’s Rome. Chuba, iwobi and it looks like 3 more on the way to football paradise. Get it in oh leprof! in Henry’s (or Kanu’s) name Asé (amen).


Nwakali and Chukwueze are both fantastic. Arsenal shouldnt have passed up the opportunity to sign ManCity’s Iheanacho(nigerian also)… That boy is class. Better than Akpom(who is also nigerian) in my book!Thats not to say akpom isnt great. Iwobi also!Wow soo many Nigerian players coming through! Great days ahead for Nigerian football.


Akpom isn’t Nigerian. He was born in London.


Very pleased if nwakali joins us. Would have loved osimehn signing too but I guess you can’t have everything. He seems a striker that creates on his own and hardly waste chances, pacy and skilful as well. Nwakali is a blessed playmaker tho, we’ve got an abundance of that lot across our teams but one more wouldn’t hurt I guess! Happy Nigerian gooner


Oshimen! Sign him! Dont make the same mistake as with Iheanacho. Absolute Goal machine. Golden boot winner and second best player at Chile.


Great news for my countrymen


Our improved financial situation means we can compete with Manchester City and Chelsea in terms of spending serious money on the most talented teenagers around. Malen, Reine-Adelaide and Fortune are probably the most talented 16-17 year olds to arrive at the academy since Cesc (barring Bellerin who was a special case as he was bought as part of selling Cesc). The difference is that unlike City and Chelsea we actually offer these players a path to the first team if they develop well. Don’t know much about these two but they sound exciting. The only concern might be that the… Read more »


I wonder if Wenger is looking to convert any of the attacking players signed to defensive positions.

Tuan Nguyen

Josh Dasilva. He will be our defense midfielder in very soon

Andy Mack

Some of the youth defenders are very good but we use the youth system to give the kids an ‘all round’ football education. I assume you’re referring to Bielik when you mention a midfielder playing as a CB and he’s a good example. He’s a midfielder who’s being played as CB to improve his defensive skills and he’s doing reasonably well in that position. The youth teams do seem to let some silly goals in but they’re usually because one player lost concentration and that unfortunately is a problem with youngsters at all teams. Whether any of the kids develop… Read more »

sanogo's missed kick

I love Arsenal’s affinity with Nigeria and our general international fanbase. It just makes our club seem extra special. I mean we haven’t had a Nigerian on our books for awhile and yet you hear constant reports about Nigerian politicians and celebrities citing the Arsenal as their fav team. We even had a billionaire try and buy us out of some belief that Arsenal is an intrinsically Nigerian club. I’ve also heard similar claims made from French, and more recently, German supporters personally and on social media. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many years removed from the days… Read more »

Ted E.

Don’t forget the Swedish contingent with Limpar and Ljungberg (and Zlatan coming this summer…)

sanogo's missed kick

I’m so happy that Freddie’s back with the club. I’ve always felt that he doesn’t get enough praise for what he brought to the team, an amazing fox in the box who scored or was integral to some very important goals.


And Kallstrom.

Naija Gunner

Well said bro. COYG!

Harish P

“We haven’t had a Nigerian on our books for awhile.”

Alex Iwobi, who was born in Nigeria, started for us against Sunderland over the weekend.


Well said bro. I don’t know how but most of my friends are Arsenal fans, and no I didn’t meet them in a bar. Truth is, Arsenal fans are the classiest people on Earth.

Jos Boy

You can never tell with the development of young players. Here’s hoping we have future first teamers between these 2.

Andy Mack

If these lads are interested in which club they join and in having a good football education then they’ll join us, but if they’re only interested in money then they’ll join another club.


I dunno, neither City nor Chelsea put their youth prospects on huge wages. I would think you’d probably be better off developing through Arsenal than you would through one of them. Sure if you make it big at City or Chelsea you will earn more, but you aren’t going to get the chance. At Arsenal you’ll get the chance and if it doesn’t work out you’ll have had the chance to put yourself in the shop window at least for someone else, which will probably earn you more than rotting at one of C clubs.

Andy Mack

They both pay much more than we do but the kids that go to either Chavski or $iteh end up having to move to other clubs to get any 1st team game time. Obi Mikel left Man Untidy for the Chav £.


Sounds pretty well.
up the arse.


So happy for my brothers from Nigeria. I am sure they will make us proud.


Only a matter of time before an African team wins the works cup I think. I would be beautiful.


Unfortunately far too many African teams with the potential to do well are limited in their efforts to do so by the ineptitude of their governing bodies. There was that mega talented Nigerian side that won the Olympics against Brazil way back when though, so I guess hope should never die.

Andy Mack

There’s also the problem that the big clubs are less likely to buy talented African players unless they are exceptionally good or exceptionally cheap as the big clubs don’t want to gamble on a player that gets dragged off in the season every 2 years for the money generation tournament called the ACN.
Why would they spend a fortune on a guy that needs further training but will then disappear when the season is at it’s busiest.

Glasgow Gunner

Wonder whatever happened to the guy that assured us the Chambers signing was nailed on 6 months before it happened.

if you are out there. Who are we getting this time?

Andy Mack

If he did actually know anything firm it was probably because he was involved with the Southampton club or Chambers mates, so it’s unlikely he has much info on some guys from Nigeria….. Or maybe I’m wrong…


Yeah that’s more likely. I have a couple of friends who went to school with Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham but I have nothing to do with Leicester FC or Crystal Palace. I also have a friend whose brother is in Dinamo Zagreb’s youth team and I get some information from that.

6 degrees of separation and all that.

He's got no hair but we don't care...

OK, so thumbs up if you think we need to sign a back-up striker to cover the likes of Giroud, Theo, Alexis or Thumbs down if you think we don’t.

DE Gooner


Pros: was the best player at the last under 17 world cup. Controls play from a deep midfield role. Defends neatly and takes brilliant free kicks.

Cons: He could be inconsistent but that is expected at his age.


Pros: Pace, Direct running and shooting. Provides goals

Cons: Could disappear for periods in a game


there will be major work permit issues to be crossed before either could sign for AFC

DE Gooner

Nwakali won the best U17 player at the world cup . He will get a work permit as a special talent.

Kelechi Iheanacho won it in 2013 and is already in Manchester city’s first team


I thought once you’re 16 you can sign pretty much anywhere. And you don’t need a work permit to play for anything but the top team I don’t think.


Just show the lad some videos of Overmars and he can have an idol we can all be OK with.


I wish we could complete the hat trick with Osimhen. He is what I believe Wenger wanted in Sanogo; raw power, explosive pace, deadly accuracy and strength beyond his age. A true product of suffering and street football nurtured on the streets of Nigeria. As a Nigerian, these signings make me fall in love all over again with this club!

Naija Gunner

More of the good news please…


The first youth Wenger should sign is Victor Osimhen, he’s as clinical as they come. These other two are equally top class but Osimhen should be the first name on that list.


I think Wenger should just sign the whole Nigerian team at the under17..jeez their just bunch of mad talents. They take decisions way above their age.

MrBrain + Ozil's vision

Nwakali is a superb player… I think they will go on to prove a grear signing for us.

biafran arse

Two biafran boys,umunne m welcome the ARSENAL #TeamBiafra


they’re Nigerians not biafrans, biafra doesn’t exist, don’t use your myopic thinking to spoil the mood for Arsenal Nigeria.

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