After enjoying an impressive season on loan with MVV Maastricht, it was anticipated that Arsenal youngster Kelechi Nwakali would push on to greater heights this campaign.
It didn’t quite turn out like that in the first half of the campaign as the Nigerian midfielder endured a frustrating time in the top tier of Dutch football with VVV-Venlo, where he was unable to command a regular starting berth.
Nwakali got off to an encouraging start for VVV-Venlo, scoring on his debut against Groningen after entering the fray as a substitute.
However, subsequent opportunities proved difficult to come by and a decision was made last month to cancel the 19-year-old’s loan and instead send him back to Maastricht in the second division.
Nwakali has enjoyed being back in familiar surroundings and has played with much confidence in his appearances since returning to Maastricht.
Last weekend the youngster provided an assist in the win over Cambuur and he will now hope to feature frequently until the end of the campaign.
It is expected that Nwakali will return to Arsenal for pre-season training in the summer, although he perhaps isn’t quite ready yet to play a major part for the first-team.
There is a possibility, however, that if Nwakali thrives during the remainder of the season at Maastricht as he did for the majority of last term then he could have a part to play for Arsenal in the cup competitions next season.
Nwakali is excellent technically and a fine passer, while he also has good strength and dribbling, with the important step for him now being to get more consistency in his game.
It may have been a difficult season so far for Nwakali but he his now back at a club that he knows very well and is eager to prove to Arsenal that he deserves to be called upon next season in some capacity.