Kelechi Nwakali isn’t letting his Arsenal departure dent his self-confidence and the 21-year-old, who has a buy-back in his contract, is targeting the senior Nigeria squad.

Kelechi Nwakali (Photo via Instagram / Nwakali25)
Kelechi Nwakali (Photo via Instagram / Nwakali25)

Kelechi Nwakali signed for SD Huesca on a permanent deal after Arsenal allowed him to leave. With Arsenal placing a buy-back into his contract, Nwakali is hopeful of making it back to London one day.

To do that, he is targeting the Nigeria squad and becoming John Obi Mikel’s ‘heir’ after the former Chelsea man retired from international football.

“I am still the heir apparent (to Mikel),” Nwakali told reporters after he’d just helped the Dream Team VII beat Sudan 5-0 to qualify for the U23 Africa Cup of Nations with a ‘sparkling’ performance.

”I believe my own is to do the playing and whenever it is time for me to come, I am always available.

”It is always an honour to represent Nigeria. Of course, I am still knocking on the door of the Super Eagles, that’s why we keep playing every day.”

Nwakali’s is one of a number of names being mentioned by the Nigerian press as a possible replacement in the squad for Mikel. He called time on his international career in the summer at the end of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations where they came third.

Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr, however, had the chance to call Nwakali up for a recent friendly against Ukraine and did not.