Kelechi Nwakali’s grandfather, Samuel Sunday Ashimole Nwakali, died, aged 92, the day the midfielder signed his Arsenal contract.
Speaking to Complete Sports Nigeria, Kelechi’s brother, Chidiebere who is owned by Manchester City, said, “It was sad we lost him at this point in time, but we are proud to have had him as a grandfather,” starts the midfielder in a most emotional tone.
“He lived a good life. At 92, we can only celebrate him for a wonderful life he lived.
“Despite ours being a polygamous family, he brought us all up eating from one plate.
“He worked hard to raise his children despite hard times through his farming profession, and it is such hard work disposition of his that endeared him to all.
“For me, that has been my source of courage, motivation and inspiration as a player.
“I’ll continue to work hard to ensure success,” Chidiebere added.
Another brother, the elder Allwell, added, “Before he passed on, he told one of my younger ones, Nnabuihe, that: “I’m happy, I’m going home”.
“Besides, he died same day Kelechi Nwakali signed his Arsenal contract. I was in London when they called to inform me of his death.
“He was a man of unique disposition and we cannot but be happy to have had him as our grandfather,”
Kelechi is currently on loan with MVV Maastricht along with Stefan O’Connor. So far this season he’s played 13 minutes in the Jupiler league and 46 in KNVB Beker.
His loan runs until the end of the season, but he has the option of cutting it short in January if he has not settled.
Nwakali is believed to have cost Arsenal just under £3m from Diamond Academy in Nigeria. Arsenal were unable to secure a work permit for the player voted most valuable at the most recent u17 FIFA World Cup, hence his loan.
No doubt, had United signed him, the home office would have thrown as many permits at the club as they wanted.