Arsenal could well walk away from a deal that has taken Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze to The Emirates should they not be impressed with the Nigeria youngsters by the time they are 18 and due for a professional contract.
Nwakali was the MVP of last year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile and Chukwueze was one of the tournament’s leading scorers as Nigeria won a record fourth U17 World Cup.
Kelechi Nwakali will be 18 on June 5, while Chukwueze clocks 18 only on May 22 next year.
However, a top source disclosed that Arsenal have first made “minimal’ investment on the two players and so will not hesitate to let go of them for one reason or the other.
“Arsenal have only made an initial investment of about 10% on both players and have insisted they will only finalise a contract with them when they are 18 and have received their international papers,” a source close to the players said:
“It’s a huge risk the players’ academy in Nigeria is now taking because should it all go wrong, Arsenal have nothing to lose if they walked away.”
It was understood that this was not the case with Kelechi Nwakali’s older brother, Chidiebere, when he agreed to join another English Premier League club Manchester City.
After initially proposing a 25% investment, City and Chidiebere’s Shuttle Sports Academy finally agreed to share the risk and in the end the promising midfielder was given a pro contract at The Etihad.