Kelechi Nwakali: Nigerian thanks Arsenal despite no appearances

Kelechi Nwakali is yet to play for Nigeria at senior level in an official international game

Nigeria youth international Kelechi Nwakali has thanked English club Arsenal despite leaving the Premier League side without making any first team appearances.

Nwakali, 20, has left the Gunners and joined Spanish second division side SD Huesca on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

He made 16 appearance on loan at FC Porto’s B side last season before the deal was cut short due to visa problems, but the youngster is grateful for his time in North London.

“It’s been a good journey with Arsenal since 2016 despite never played (sic) any official game for them,” he wrote on social media.

“I have gained a lot from my time here and everybody involved with the club have been great to me.

“I just want to say a big thank you and goodbye, because it is time to move on, time for another chapter and another challenge.”

A 2015 Under-17 World Cup and Golden Boot winner as the tournament’s best player, Nwakali was snapped up by Arsenal in August 2016 as the Gunners beat a string of Europe’s leading sides, including Manchester City, German, Dutch and Spanish clubs to his signing.

He spent time on loan at Dutch clubs VVV-Venlo and MVV Maastricht [two loan spells] between 2016 and 2018 but struggled to make a major impact, before moving to Porto in July 2018.

In August 2018, he earned a call-up to the senior Nigeria squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Seychelles, but did not play.

Nwakali did play for a Nigeria XI in a friendly against Spanish club Atletico Madrid five months before.

He has played for his country at all youth levels and is regarded as one of the finest young midfielders from the West African nation.