Saturday, January 28, 2023

Permanent departure the best option for Nwakali

Arsenal have decisions to make over a host of players and, while Kelechi Nwakali may not be the most high-profile of them, it is certainly time for the club to take a stance on the midfielder’s future.

It is almost three years since Nwakali joined Arsenal but, owing to work permit problems, the Nigeria youth international has yet to feature for the club, even in a friendly, and has only been involved in a few training sessions at London Colney.

The vast majority of Nwakali’s Arsenal career so far has been spent out on loan. He showed some encouraging signs at Maastricht but a subsequent spell at VVV-Venlo didn’t work out.

A return to Maastricht followed and he has spent this season with Porto’s B team, where matters certainly haven’t gone to plan.

Nwakali made 16 appearances for Porto B but failed to score or provide an assist, while he wasn’t involved at all in the closing stages of the season having been left stranded in Nigeria because of a visa issue.

All things considered, it seems highly unlikely that Porto will exercise their option to buy Nwakali, which they negotiated when they brought him in on loan last year.

That leaves Arsenal with a decision to make on the future of a player who turns 21 next week and has just over two years remaining on his contract.

Although he is impressive technically and arrived with an excellent reputation, there has been little to suggest from Nwakali’s recent performances on loan that he would be able to make a major impact in English football, while it isn’t guaranteed that he would receive a work permit in any case.

Another loan also wouldn’t be of much use as if Nwakali was to struggle again then Arsenal’s chances of selling him next year would dwindle further.

It seems, then, that the best option for Arsenal is to sell Nwakali and give him the chance to kick-start his career elsewhere.

Jeorge Bird is the author of Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Faisal Narrage

Sell him off with a buyback clause.
It’s a shame as we were interested in 2 players but could only get him, but the other seems to be blazing it up in La Liga.


We end up with the dud again…..

Pat Rice and Beans

Yep, you’re right.
The other one is Samuel Chukweze who did good last season considering his age and the fact he played for a side battling against de drop (Villareal).

Dave Cee

We should go back in for him now. He looked amazing when i watched Villareal

Lucas Rakoto-Sam

I think the problem of the work permit remains no? Not too sure how many years he spent in spain already.

Faisal Narrage

I don’t think it was an issue of work permit, he simply chose Spain.
We’re still part of the EU, so if he can play in Spain he can play here, as far as I’m aware


“We’re still part of the EU, so if he can play in Spain he can play here, as far as I’m aware”

don’t think so. For example, Nwakali may not qualify for a UK work permit, yet has been playing on loan across Europe without a problem.

Crash Fistfight

Exactly. If he gains a passport from an EU country by following whatever rules are in place in that country, THEN he can come to the UK without a permit. It just so happens that other EU countries have more relaxed rules around granting work permits to non-EU nationals (like all the South Americans that go to play in Spain).


Nwakali is a very gifted player. He as good if not better than chukwueze of Villarreal. Arsenal have failed to manage him well. Send him to German or Spain to clubs where he can play on a regular. Give him a new contract, he is a key players of Nigerias under 23, so the Olympics might do him lots of good. I believe he has more potential than iwobi if he is properly managed. Watch the match Nigeria played against athletico Madrid and you’ll see what I’m talking about

Spanish Gooner

I really do not understand why we would ever buy a player with no work permit at that age. You get a work permit if you have a big transfer fee or wages, or if you’ve played a certain percentage of your country’s international games in the last 2 years (the percentage is higher the lower ranked your country is, e.g. you need to play 40% of games for France but 70% for Nigeria) so the only way we will ever be able to use Nwakali is if he manages to become one of the best 11 players from a… Read more »


Probably go on to be league second or third top scorer with our luck.

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