Kelechi Nwakali completed his loan move from Arsenal to FC Porto yesterday but not directly to the main team as many would have expected due to the fact that he is still highly rated as one of the bright prospects in Nigeria.
After dazzling for the Nigerian B team in their 2-3 loss to Atletico Madrid in a friendly game prior to the World Cup, there were calls for him to be included in the provisional list of players for the World Cup which was released by coach Gernot Rohr few days to the game.
Rohr was not interested in the calls and snubbed the midfielder who spent last season on loan to two Dutch sides in VVV Venlo and MVV Maastricht. He ended the season at Maastricht after failing to nail down a regular spot at VVV Venlo.
At Porto B, he will be facing one of the most daunting task of his career yet as since the progression of Chidozie Awaziem to the first team from the B team, none of the Nigerians on the books of the team have made the step up.
Mikel Agu also went same route but since his elevation to the first team four years ago, he has struggled to pin down a regular spot in the team. Awaziem struggled after his breakthrough season and even spent a season at Porto B before impressing at Nantes last season while on loan.
Bar the duo who have made progress to the first team, about six other Nigerians have failed to make the steep step up to the main team. Chidera Ezeh, Junior Pius Udeme, Moses John, Fidelis Irhene, Jacob Njoku and presently even Musa Yahaya is yet to break into the first team.
At the Moment, Nwakali is one of six Nigerians on the payroll of the club but only two are part of the first team set up that is the duo of Awaziem and Agu, while Yahaya, Ezeh, Isah Musa and Fildelis Kuku are with the B team.
The jury is out on the talented 20 year old whose move have got many wondering why he didn’t opt for a club where he will be a part of the first team set up from the get go than at Porto where he is required to progress through the ranks.