African All Stars

Kelechi Nwakali: Huesca terminate ex-Arsenal midfielder’s contract

21:08 WAT 05/04/2022
Kelechi Nwakali
The 23-year-old has been shown the way out from the Estadio El Alcoraz, the Spanish second-tier outfit has announced

Former Arsenal player Kelechi Nwakali is now a free agent after Huesca terminated his contract on Tuesday. 

In the 2021-22 campaign, he featured in 19 league games before joining the Nigeria national team for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Since his return after the Super Eagles' failed expedition in Cameroon, he was considered for action by manager Xisco Munoz at his club.

However, the Aragon team confirmed in a statement on their website that they have parted ways with the former Nigeria U17 captain but could not divulge the reason behind the decision.

“Sociedad Deportiva Huesca have terminated the contractual relationship maintained by the first team player Kelechi Nwakali with the Barca entity,” the club wrote in a statement.

“The club has informed the player of the decision to terminate the contract that united both in the current campaign but expired in June 2022. 

“SD Huesca wishes Nwakali the best in his professional future.”

Nwakali was named the Fifa U17 World Cup player of the tournament in Chile in 2015 after a resounding performance with Nigeria and had caught the attention of Arsenal.

Following his inability to break into Arsenal’s first team, the Gunners sent the Nigerian to Dutch second division side MVV Maastricht.

He enjoyed further spells at VVV-Venlo and FC Porto B before he was shipped out of the Emirates Stadium for a move to Huesca.

In his maiden season at the Estadio El Alcoraz, he featured in just five games as the Spaniards got promoted to the Spanish elite division. 

Huesca’s demotion to the second-tier saw him sent to Alcorcon for the remainder of the 2020-21 campaign. 

His former coach at U17 level Emmanuel Amuneke had told GOAL what the midfielder must do to justify his potential.

“There is nothing to doubt about Nwakali’s talent. There are some qualities that are natural gifts from God and he possesses them,” said Amuneke.

“As a player and coach, I have seen a lot of good players and midfielders but the kind of quality Nwakali possesses is what I have not seen in any other Nigerian.

“He is a kind of player that can see beyond what other players are seeing, a player that has a vision and a player who can play a ball that can result in a goal.

“All he needs to do is counsel himself and realise that when you forget the root that took you to success, you start to lose the beauty of what made you who you are.

“A lot of Nigerians are expecting his progression but it is unfortunate because of what he has passed through over the years. He also needs to check the kind of lifestyle he is living and know that without football, he is a nobody.”