Super Eagles B team midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, has officially joined Portuguese side, FC Porto B on a season loan deal Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Portuguese giants have an option to make the deal permanent in 12 months’ time.
Nwakali told FC Porto: “My main goal is to develop and evolve as a player, to improve my qualities and the other aspects that I know I need to correct to grow in the way I play.
“I think FC Porto is the right place to evolve as a player.”
Nwakali also hopes to meet FC Porto legend Deco to recount how impactful he was to his career.
“I know Porto very well, because one of my idols in football played here: Deco. He was a player that I loved to watch and I hope one day being able to meet him and tell him the importance he had in my desire to be a football player.”
The 19 year-old midfielder had been sent out on loan to Dutch second tier team, MVV Maastricht and VVV Venlo in the topflight division from Arsenal.
The former Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles captain is under contract until June 2021 with the English Premier League club, Arsenal.
He made his debut for Super Eagles B team in an international friendly against Atletico Madrid in May where the Nigerian team lost 3-2.
Is a first division team in Belgium or France not better than FC porto B team?
Why are some people always NEGATIVE??? They never seem to see anything good out of a particular move. So proud of you Nwakali-The face of the Super Eagles. It a good move and FC Porto A/B is a good club as well. One thing am sure of is that your talent will be too heavy for FC Porto to keep you in their B team when they see you play.
@Chairmanfemi I concur with you my brother Kelechi Nwakali Will not stay even 2 months in the B Side before the A side snap him up for Champs League and Premeira Liga.
He’s only 19. He has played mostly in the Dutch second division in the last two seasons. Porto B plays in Portuguese segunda and I don’t think that’s bad for his development. I will like him to captain the FlyingEagles to the U20 AFCON and WorldCup if we make it there. He’s definitely IMHO SuperEagles long term successor to Mikel. He even possess more guile and shooting abilities. If he continues in his progression there’s a chance for him to break into Porto’s first team. Good luck boy and continue to #FLY LIKE AN EAGLE INTO THE FUTURE.
Oga he is only 19 na u b d father we na niaja oo
Mbape is 19 also.
Am only asking a rhetorical question.
FC Porto B is not so bad a move.
But certainly KC Nwakali is good enough for Frence and Belgium first division teams.
Hopefully, he breaks into main team this year.
Best of luck nwanne.
part of the reason why our football has refused to grow is cos we celebrate mediocrity..if this is the face of the Super Eagles and still signing for lower division teams three years after having a wonderful u 17 world cup then we still need to look further..the likes of Kanu,Ikpeba,Babayaro, even Kelechi and Isaac promise had started pulling in the top divisions 3yrs after their glorious entrance into world football…Nigerian players who took time to hit it off at the top level after age grade competitions we know where most of them end up later..while not taking anything away from Nwakali..methink he should bring to the table more than just talent.more of hard work dedication and discipline which is the bane of most of our boys will see this talented dude is in his rightful place very very soon
It’s way too early for me to critically assess Nwakali. Based on what I have seen thus far, I believe the young man holds a lot of promise for the future.
This move to Porto “B” should guarantee him regular football and a pathway to their “A” team if he proves himself to be too outstanding for their “B” team.
Hard work, focus, dedication, attention to detail, resilience and ability to take on board constructive criticisms are all among attributes that should serve Nwakali well in seasons to come for club(s) and country.
Without seeing how Nwakali has responded to various football scenarios, it is hard for me to appraise him objectively at this stage on the back of U-17 football and a feel-good friendly match against a holiday-bound Atletico Madrid team.
Nwakali will remain in my radar and I will continue to watch his space.
A player that was voted MVP three years ago in the cadet world cup with all the promises he holds playing in the Portuguese 2nd division? If I must be honest Kelechi should do better.
Meanwhile, it seems he and his older brother are struggling to establish themselves in Europe where kids who weren’t as good as them few years back are world champions and some playing in the elite league.
However it is high time we visited the courses of this problem because super eagles itself are struggling to go past first round in the world cup because of this.
Lets look at the French team that won the world cup.Apparently most of their players play in the elite leagues.They didn’t struggle against Croatia like we did obviously when you play for Bursaspor Amker perm and coming up against players who features regularly for the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid it is obvious inferiority complex would set in and you cannot progress to the next stages with that kind of mindset.
The likes of Etebo who holds a lot of promises disappointed fans by signing for a championship team i think this is ridiculous!news going round that Musa is courted by a Saudi team,so where are we heading from here is the big question?
There’s pandemonium in our football from the sports minister who is our biggest problem to our players not aiming high enough is dragging us down.
Until our players start to believe in themselves,until they start playing for the big clubs we can never go past the second round because teams who get to the later stages of the world cup do usually have players who plays not just in the best leagues the world has also the best team.
@Greenturf What do you expect when he gets Left behind and not taking to the World Cup the biggest football showpiece in the World.. Next time @Greenturf you guys should stop clamoring for Mediocre like onazi and Joel Obi. And telling us football loving fans to “leave the coach (ROHR) to do his job’. Hope you people have learnt your Lesson Now. Look at France Smiling from Ear to Ear because they have faith in their Young talent
Thank you for your entry above which I have read with so much interest. Whilst I see where you are coming from, to the passive observer, it will come across as if the Super Eagles team that went to the world cup was populated predominantly by players playing in lower leagues for clubs that have nothing to write home about.
On the contrary, 80% of the team comprised of players playing in premier leagues for clubs that are well-run with respectable pedigree.
Look at Ezenwa, for example, who plays for Enyimba Intl . Yes, this is not Manchester United in the EPL, however Eyimba is considered the most successful Nigerian football club in recent history having won two African Champions League titles, six Nigerian championships and four Federation Cups since 2001. It is a club that imbibes its players with a winning mentality and prepares that for the big stage.
The likes of Michael Babatunde, Juwon Oshaniwa, Sunday Mba, Emmanuel Amuneke (Zamalek at the time), Francis Uzoho, Thompson Oliha (African Sports FC at the time), Vincent Enyeama (Eyinmba at the time) have all proven that players playing at well-run clubs in modest leagues can rub shoulders with the big boys in big tournaments and leave behind noteworthy contributions.
I am not saying that the Super Eagles should be populated predominantly by players playing for clubs that lack any sort of pedigree in non-competitive leagues – that has never been the case and is unlikely ever to be the case.
What I am trying to say is that a Super Eagles team selected from diverse club backgrounds all over the world without undue bias towards so-called elite clubs in elite leagues can still be very competitive as have been the case throughout the years for Nigeria.
Remember, Julius Aghaowa was playing in Tunisia when he terrorised defences at the 2000 Afcon whist the world renowned Italian defence could not prevent an Egyptian-base Amuneke from stabbing home what should have been the winning goal against Italy in 1994. All the quality of the English Premier League in the shape of Michael Owen, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and current England Manager Gareth South (then playing for Middlesbrough) could not find the back of Eyimba’s Vincent Enyeama’s net.
Focus should shift away from fascination with elite clubs/leagues but to bringing back organisation, focus, commitment, determination, purposeful-play and a winning mentality ethos to whoever wears the jersey for Nigeria regardless of the club they play for.
A player that scores a screamer against Jan Oblak is not celebrating mediocrity. I know a proven talent when I saw one. Kanu, Babayaro, Oruma and co pre MRI were all playing in the NPFL before they went to Japan 93. At least Papillo was 21 or 22 when he went to Japan as a 16 year old. Most of our young talents that are emerging in recent years are all from local Nigerian academies. In France they have the world renowned Clairefontain football academy where Mbappe has been since he was 6 year old. Do we have such elite academy in Nigeria??? Absolutely not.
In Europe starting from the age of 6 most of those boys have been playing in front of 10,000 fans or more. Now tell me how inferiority complex will come in by the time they’re 19? Because most of our boys are still very raw it will take them a little while longer to reach the level of their European counterparts.
This is why I’m always an Ashewo to any Nigerian player playing in a top league or a top club. When you have players from Amker Perm, Bursaspor, Changyong Yatai, Tianjin Teda like @greenturf said playing against players from Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Inter Milan, Man City and the likes there is most definitely no way we will ever go past the second round at FIFA Mundial.
In the present SuperEagles among players 22 and under only Iwobi plays at a top club. And That is because he’s been at Arsenal since he was 7 year old. I think Porto B and Portuguese second division is not a bad idea for Kelechi Nwakali. Porto is a top club if he can continue to progress and make it into their first team.
Thanks for your contributions above which have done more to reinforce to me that the notion “playing a top club” means different things to different fans.
You say that only Iwobi plays for a “top club” out of the 23 players to Russia. Going by my definition of “top clubs” we had more than one player in the squad.
My definition of a top club is one that has verifiable pedigree, which is very well run, operates in a highly competitive league and potentially wins trophies in its domestic league. A club that has a number of various national team players in its squad and perhaps has been known to come among top 10 position in its league. A top club also – in my books – also participates in continental competitions and has been known to cause the odd upset or two.
Bearing that in mind, Victor Moses (Chelsea), Ahmed Musa (on loan to CSKA Moscow), Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City), Joel Obi (Torino, 9th in the league) play for top clubs while all the others play for very well run modest clubs in competitive leagues.
The make-up of the Super Eagles squad to the last world cup was actually very impressive when you come to think of it.
We had players playing for trailblazers in many modest and competitive leagues. The 3 goalkeepers were active for reputable clubs, all of the defenders were active for decent and well-run clubs, the midfielders had the odd league champion (John Ogu) while the attack had proven (club) league goalscorers.
Overall, in the Super Eagles, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, Italy Serie ‘a’, Portuguese league, French league were all represented and supplemented by Russian, Turkish, South African, Nigerian, Chinese leagues representations.
We had calibre of players worthy of being on the same pitch with Croatia, Argentina or even France in this world cup.
With the right approach and motivation, this group of players could have got a ‘good’ result against Croatia, defeat Iceland, draw against Argentina, top the group then go on to meet and defeat Denmark in the second round, overcome Russia in the quarter-finals, defeat England in the semi-finals and lose to France narrowly in the final!
That sequence of event were what should have happened and it is my position that with a more savvy coach, they could have happened.
Lets be fair and Honest with ourselves the small time mentality of Nigerians is what is dragging our football back. Before the World cup everybody was saying Kelechi is 19 years old he is not ready for the World Cup or Senior Team he must play under 20 so forth and so on.. I kept sayin we are killing this boys career. He needed to be at the World Cup to show case him self to the World and to Unai Emere the new Arsenal Manager and also put himself in good stead with the Worl Permit situation because you need 8 senior caps to make yourself eligible for a work permit in football and also if he had performed outstandingly which I know he would have he would have been even eligible on the special talent clause.. So you see it seems to me that Nigerians always forget to the lead up to the world cup how much attention the World cup brings look at the likes of Kylian Mbappe was big before the world cup but even bigger now France knew this but that is why Europeans are far ahead of Nigerians because they understand the gist of this game.. Gernot Rohr knew this and still did not take this boy and Henry Onyekuru for that matter who knows bigger clubs might have been coming calling for them by now but look he is loaned out to FC Porto B because the new Arsenal Coach has not seen enough of him. Had he gone to the World Cup my dear Forum mates Arsenal would have been Jumping at the bits to sort out his Work Permit. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO ALL NIGERIANS DO NOT SABOTAGE OUR OWN SPECIAL TALENTS FOR MEDIOCRE PLAYERS LIKE ONAZI AND JOEL OBI.. GERNOT ROHR MUST GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The World Cup is a hunting ground for Special Talents where scouts and Big Clubs go SHOPPING!!!!!!!………….. Only in Nigeria do we leave our Best at home and Take Mediocre nonsense Like Onazi and Joel Obi whom don’t even see the pitch at the tournament and, leave better players like Kelechi Nwakali and Henry Onyekuru who have the world at their feet at home knowing full well they have the talent to take our Super Eagles to the Next Level.. what a mediocre country we are from.
The plain truth is Nigerians will always be Nigerians. We always tend to want the easy way out. Our footballers don’t want to work hard for their success. Why go to Porto B team when you can go to an European top league team and fight your way to the starting 11? That’s because you know you are averagely okay and not good enough so you decide to go to a B team that you know will be easier for you because I heard other teams from Turkey and Belgium were after him. And please can we stop using age as an excuse. He is 20 and I know a lot of players his age even younger that are better and playing in top division clubs. The only thing I see here is that Arsenal wanted him to go there because he will get enough playing time which is what they want.
The problem with some of us is that people always deviate from the truth. I said it here the last time that he will not make the Arsenal team. Forget the fact that he didn’t go to world cup even if he goes he will still will not play. He is not in the same level with Onazi or Joel Obi that did not even play a single game. This same guy has been playing on loan for 2 seasons, did anyone want to say that scouts across Europe or even his parent club has not seen his performances? It means he has not develop enough. How many season does it take Iheanacho to brake into man city main team from their B team?. I thought because of his performance against Atletico Madrid friendly Arsenal will throw him directly into the main team because that is the reason most people here are saying that he should make the team to world cup. mtchhhhew
@tayo Debating with you is not even something I will dive into, I will not allow myself to waste my precious time with that. We all know how Shoddy your knowledge of football is.
I have really enjoyed reading all the comments and in all honesty they are valid and credible but I just want to bring one additional points to aforementioned, which is, Europe and possibly South America is way ahead of Africa in terms of football development and that is because they have a well structured system. Correct me if am wrong but i can’t remember when last a play from south america went on a trial to an european club or a player from any of the top leagues in europe going on trial, but see this senerio, the top goal scorer in the on-going Nigeria league going on trial prior to the world cup when he should be thinking of going to the world cup and showcasing himself. another thing is the agent of nigerian players do not push for the best, imagine who the record signing in Man City. therefore, what i honestly suggest is that we should have a solid system that works and as for Nwakali, we can only wish him well besides that’s the best he can settle for now.
FC Porto B team are 7th on their table made up of 20 teams. Last match played was on 12/07/2018 an away match losing 3-0.They have a player bearing the name Yahaya Musa who was putting on a green jersey in the club foto so I assume he is a Nigerian too. It may seem a retrogressive move going to a B team but I personally think it may turn out to be what this young lad needs at this stage of his development. We should all support him now and hope he progress on to be included in the main Porto team. That is what friends do.
Well…to me, Enzo Hernandez (son of zidane) was playing for real Madrid Castillo when he also played for real Madrid. Even our GK, Uzoho made 3 appearances for the main team while still playing for their B Team. Awaziem was drafted to the main team 2 seasonso ago even played some matches while still playing for B team. I think what matters is…is he going be to registered with Team A for the season from team B? Don’t be surprised if Nwakali play some gamesort for the main Team this season because in some websites. .it’s written FC Porto and not Porto B.
@ Ugo Uwenze people like you are the problem with our football. Nwakali is good no doubt about it but he is a player for the future. We told you allow him to grow very well but people like you want him play for Super Eagles when we all know he is not ripe enough. We have quite number of inexperience players in super eagles team yet, you guys want him there and later you will start blaming the coach. Do you think player like Nwakali will play against Croatia or Argentina and will not be scared? People like you just want to destroy the guy career by this your unnecessary hype
What is this Ripe Nonesense you Nigerians Like talking about My friend sit down there is he a Banana or a fruit that needs to be ripe before tasted. Abeg make I hear word joor. If Kylian Mbappe was Nigerian you people will be saying he is one for the future he is not Ripe. Thats why I say Nigerian Fans Small minded mentality.. Was it not Michale Owen who burst on the scene at 18 in France 1998 Abeg Jare..
if only most of us know the mentality of these players we would not give ourselves much headache as to why they aint flying…now porto b is ok for a 19 year old..MRI or no MRI..we all know Nwakali is more than 19yrs old…this is a player that couldnt get playing time at vvv venlo..a team that cant be categorised as a top team in Holland,he had to be shipped back to the 2nd division..here we go again playing in the 2nd diviosn for another season running..when will he finally fulfill his potentials..at least t 19 Ndidi was already rubbing shoulders with the best players in the premiership…let us continue making excuse for them and we will still be here few years later to mourn their career that failed to blossom
Exactly at 19 they are already making millions and some low mind will call them young. If Rashford or Mbappe was Nigerian I’m sure we say same. Look at Awoniyi who they call small boy but he’s married Nigeria we are always small even at 30 we will keep playing for B teams to make matter worse and be claiming 15years lmao.
Were they playing in B team or second division. Mbape has won French leaque,played in champions league etc same thing with Michael Owen @ liverpool then. This is a player who couldn’t stamp his authority in a lowly dutch first division. I know he will become a great player but not to rush his development. We have under 20 world cup and Olympics let’s see how he perform there.
Well, well, well… What started out as rather innocuous contributions have generated such a feisty debate on an article that is perhaps as underwhelming as the career of the young footballer it features.
What is clear is that so much is expected of Master Nwakali but the direction of travel of his career has been indifferent to date since his stellar performances for the victorious U-17 Golden Eaglet squad in 2015 announced him to soccer loving Nigerians.
If one is to take certain contributions in this forum too seriously, you would think that it is that easy to secure contracts and walk straight into the first team of the best football clubs in the world.
If only it was that easy.
Left to him, Nwakali will like to be signed by Real Madrid today and line up with Gareth Bale for their next fixture but he is going to have to work hard, hope for a breakthrough and seize the opportunity when it comes, for that to happen.
For such opportunities to come his way, Nwakali will need to be consistent and avoid the sort of mixed reactions that followed a cracking goal he scored earlier this year.
After crashing the net with a ferocious long-range strike for Maastricht against Utrecht in March, Arsenal fans went online to say the following:
“Nice goal, but he is already 19,By that age, I expected much more from ex-Golden Ball winner in the U17 World Cup.
His teammate and top scorer at that World Cup, Victor Osimhen, is already playing for Wolfsburg from time to time.”
One commentator said: “Meanwhile Nwakali wasn’t good enough for Eredivisie so he went back to the Dutch second league.”
Another said: “Got the goal and all, but should have played that to his teammate on his left.”
Nwakali is one for the future but at present, he still needs to find his feet. There is nothing extra special about him yet for any coach of an elite club to risk their career in adding him to their squad at this point in time.