Chile 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup-winning captain, Kelechi Nwakali is basking in the glee and euphoria of his sealed deal with FC Porto of Portugal, as he joins the long history of Nigerian players with the team, after a long drawn transfer tussle.
Porto, who currently have Chidozie Awaziem, Mikel Ndubuisi Agu, Musa Yahaya, Chidera Ezeh and Buba Mustapha on their cards, on Tuesday finally announced their signing of the lad on season-long loan deal from Arsenal of England.
Porto had been on the trail of Nwakali for the past seven months and attempted to sign him in the January transfer window without success but their persistence has paid off, much to the lad’s delight.
Nwakali said he was happy to finally realise his dream of joining the array of Nigerian lads at the Portuguese champions, who had in the past also groomed Philip Chidi Onyemah, Bina Ajuwa and Kelvin Onyekachi Amuneke in their youth teams.
The 20-year-old Nwakali is yet to break into Arsenal’s main squad since moving to The Gunners in 2016, as he has been sent on loan to Holland twice, first at MVV Maastricht for the 2016-17 season and at VV Van Venlo last term.
Nwakali, who has played once for Nigeria’s senior team, when he notched a wonder goal for the B-squad in an exhibition game against Atletico Madrid in Uyo, said: ”I think Porto is the right place to evolve as a player.
“There are good players, young people, and I think I’ll grow up here. I hope everything good from FC Porto.
“I know FC Porto very well, because one of my idols in football played here: Deco. I loved to watch him play and I really enjoyed one day being able to meet him and tell him the importance he had in my desire to be a football player.
”My main goal is to develop and evolve as a player, improve my qualities and the other aspects that I know I need to correct to grow in the way I play.
“I think FC Porto is the right place to evolve as a player. There are good players, young people, and I think I’ll grow up here.”
Arsenal earlier declared: “Kelechi Nwakali will spend next season on loan with Portuguese side FC Porto. The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.”