Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Kelechi Nwakali from the ASJ/Diamond Academy, the club’s official website has revealed.
The talented 18-year-old attacking midfielder revealed the news himself earlier this week after months of speculation linking both him and Samuel Chukwueze with a move to the club, although it’s expected that the latter will instead join Portuguese giants FC Porto.
In a club statement, the Gunners revealed that they will look to help Nwakali gain competitive experience by sending him out on loan.
“We have completed the signing of 18-year-old attacking midfielder Kelechi Nwakali from the Diamond Football Academy in Nigeria.
“The Nigeria youth international captained his country to victory in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, where he won the Player of the Tournament award.
“Kelechi, who joins us as a young professional, will look to gain experience with a loan move in the coming months.
“We would like to welcome him to the club.”
The decision to send him out on loan is an expected one, with the player unlikely to be able to gain a work permit in order to play in England. While it could be seen as a setback, it’s unlikely that the Nigerian teenager would have had the opportunity to work his way into the first-team and would likely have been a part of the under-23s, while a loan move will allow him to play competitively.
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