Arsenal confirms Nwakali deal

Arsenal has confirmed the signing of Nigeria youngster, Kelechi Nwakali from the Diamond Football Academy, Umuahia, on a five-year deal.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with the club since January but was not formalised until Friday evening.

Nwakali was adjudged the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament in Chile, after a resounding performance with Nigeria and had caught the attention of the North London-based Premier League club.

Reports also suggested that the deal could not be finalised earlier due to the international rules on age, but the Gunners having sealed the deal confirmed that the youngster would go out on loan for the season.

“Kelechi, who joins us as a young professional, will look to gain experience with a loan move in the coming months,” said a statement on the club’s website.

The deal was initially meant to include his countryman, Samuel Chukwueze but nothing seems to have been agreed on him.

With this, the youngster is confirmed as Arsene Wenger’s fourth signing of the summer following the transfer of Granit Xhaka, Asano Takuma and Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers.

Nwakali is captain of the Flying Eagles that recently failed to qualify for the 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Sudan.

Meanwhile, Diamond Academy has hit a jackpot by netting a total of £2.5 million following the transfer of one of its products, Nwakali.

The academy was paid 10 per cent of that sum when the deal was first agreed and will be paid the balance any time from now after the player’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC) was transmitted to the England FA.

“It’s a massive payoff for Diamond Academy,” a source familiar with the transaction told AfricanFootball.com.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have since announced that they will release the youngster on loan to another club.

“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,” it stated.