Here are the things to know about one of Nigeria’s highly rated midfield prospects.
Kelechi Nwakali is no stranger to the Nigeria football scene, here are five things to know about him following his inclusion in the 24-man list released by Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr for Nigeria’s upcoming 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Seychelles.
Here are 5 things to know about Kelechi Nwakali
1. Kelechi Nwakali is 20-years-old
Kelechi Nwakali was born in Owerri, Nigeria on June 5, 1998, which makes him 20-years-old.
2. Kelechi and Nigeria
Kelechi Nwakali began his professional career with the Nigeria U-17 national team Golden Eaglets.
He captained a team led by Emmanuel Amuneke to the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup which is Nigeria’s fifth at that level.
Born and raised in Nigeria, Kelechi could not propel the Flying Eagles to the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup as they crashed out in the AFCON qualification series.
He made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3-2 loss to Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid in June 2017 and was one of the goalscorers.
3. Kelechi Nwakali club career
Kelechi Nwakali started his development as a professional player with Diamond Football Academy.
Following his outstanding campaign at with the Golden Eaglets at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, Kelechi moved to Premier League giants Arsenal in 2016 after interest from several European top sides.
According to several reports, negotiations with former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger convinced Kelechi that his future lies at the Emirate stadium.
He was initial loaned out to Netherlands second division side MVV Maastricht where he impressed
Following a decent season, he was again churned out to the Netherlands this time to the first division with VVV-Venlo but was unable to replicate his performances.
He was loaned out to MVV Maastricht for the rest of the 2017/18 season.
Several sides showed interest in Kelechi during the 2018 summer transfer window but he finally signed for Portugal Primera Division second side Porto B.
4. Kelechi’s style of play
Kelechi Nwakali is a midfielder who can play in attacking or central positions depending on instruction just like of former Arsenal great Patrick Vieira.
He is touted as a deep-lying playmaker who has been the missing link since the days of former captain Jay-Jay Okocha.
Still, in his developing phase as a footballer, Kelechi has drawn a comparison to current Super Eagles skipper Mikel Obi.
He able to read the game from deep positions and coordinate and begin the transition from defence to attack are in his skill set.
There are still improvements to be done to make him a more rounded footballer but has shown the potential that he can live up to the hype.
5. Kelechi’s personal life and awards
Kelechi Nwakali is still 20-year-old, he is yet to be married and has no kid, however, his elder brother Chidebere Nwakali is a professional footballer who went through the age grade system for Nigeria.
He won the 2015 FIFA U-17 FIFA World Cup with the Golden Eaglets and was also awarded the best player of the tournament, he is yet to win an award with his club side.