Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Arsenal are in advanced talks to sign Nigerian wonder kids Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze after their impressive performances for the Golden Eaglets at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile, here's why the deal represents a huge opportunity for Nigeria.
Arsene Wenger- if there's one manager in a top European league who over the years has built a reputation for moulding football stars from scratch, everyone would agree that it's definitely the Arsenal manager. From great ex-players like Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry to present superstars like Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Joel Campbell. Nwakali and Chukwueze will no doubt benefit from his immense knowledge of the game which has helped many players before them and hopefully they'll fulfill their ambition of appearing for the first team under the Frenchman before he finally departs. Another Nigerian who played for the London giants Nwankwo Kanu presently has his son training with the team's U12 team and Wenger's history with youngsters will continue to attract many more to Arsenal.
Style of play- Even neutrals always agree that Arsenal (apart from Barcelona) play the best football among the top European football clubs. The style which Wenger adopted on his assumption of duty in North London in 1996 is the same Super Eagles manager Sunday Oliseh wishes to implement for the national team which makes this signings a special connection because players brought up under the tiki taka model in their clubs will find no problems adapting when they switch to their national teams. This is one problem Chelsea's John Obi Mikel has faced over the years, the Jos born midfielder is used to his London club's style which has always been 'cautious' so finds it difficult to adapt whenever he wears the green and white jersey where he is expected to cover a lot of ground and create scoring opportunities for others.
The Alex Iwobi connection- Nwakali and Chukwueze will be joining another Nigerian player Iwobi at Arsenal. The British born player has already amassed two caps for Eagles and has 5 appearances for Arsenal's senior team this season, this not only makes things a bit easier for the new arrivals but they'll also have someone who shares the same background with them to look up to for guidance and advices which will ultimately benefit Nigeria's national team on the long run.
Future stars- Lastly, this massive deal also opens doors for other young Nigerian players with dreams of one day plying their trade in the world's biggest leagues especially if these Eaglets duo turn out to be the next 'Vieira' and 'Henry'.
As it stands, Arsenal has already penned a deal with the academy where Nwakali and Chukwueze learned their trade for future co-operations which means a lot.
Nigeria is blessed with tremendous talents and many of those go unnoticed and at the end fail to realise their ambition of playing top level football but if more of the country's players continue to prove themselves on the world stage then the world's best teams will have no reasons not to come looking for the next 'Lionel Messi' here instead of South America.