Arsenal youngster, Kelechi Nwakali, has revealed that legend Kanu is one of the main reasons he came to the club in the first place.

  • Nwakali started his career at the Diamond Football Academy
  • Nwakali won the Golden Ball award after his performance in the 2015 FIFA u17 World Cup
  • The 18-year-old made his loan debut against Jong Ajax

Speaking exclusively to Chris Wheatley for Goal, the 18-year-old revealed how close he is to former Gunner Kanu, even referring to him as his brother.

“Kanu called me [after the U-17 World Cup] and said Arsenal wanted me; that the boss [Arsene Wenger] called him about me,” Nwakali said.

“He’s [Kanu] been my mentor, a brother and a friend. He advised me to go and develop and prove who I am. He is my mentor and a friend. He calls me every day and I get advice from him every time.

“From a young age I’ve dreamt of playing for Arsenal. I think God made it easy for me because that has been my dream team.”

Nwakali, 18, is currently on loan with MVV Maastricht in the Eerste Divisie. The midfielder’s made 23 league appearances so far, scoring one and assisting two.

Kanu was a Nigeria international from 1993-2011 while Nwakali was made captain of the under-17s two years ago. Also, Kanu scored 37 goals in 199 league appearances for Arsenal and will go down as one of the club’s greatest unsung heroes. Therefore, you can understand why the teenager looks up to him so much.

Read more about how Nwakali is getting on at Maastricht here.