Dangote's Proposed Arsenal Bid : Why Osimhen, Chukwueze, Ndidi May Become Arsenal Players In Future
Published: January 15, 2020
Dangote's Proposed Arsenal Bid : Why Osimhen, Chukwueze, Ndidi May Become Arsenal Players In FutureRecently Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote revealed that his ambition of buying north London side Arsenal still stands albeit the plans will be moved forward to 2021 after his oil refinery and other projects worth $20bn are concluded.

Arsenal is currently owned by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke but the American is not in the good books of Arsenal supporters who feel he does not care enough for the sporting success of the team.

Kroenke's reticent to spend lavishly has seen Arsenal fans wanting new ownership after Alisher Usmanov now investing his riches at Everton was stopped from earning more stakes at the club.

"It is a dream yes, I would like to buy she day, but what I keep saying is we have $20bn worth of projects and that's what I really want to concentrate on," Dangote told David Rubenstein Show.

"I'm trying to finish building the company and then after we finish, maybe sometime in 2021 we can.

"I'm buying Arsenal when I finish all these projects because I'm trying to take the company to the next level."

Dangote's renewed hopes is refreshing for the Arsenal fan base in Nigeria although some will want him to be quiet about it until it comes to fruition.

Could the acquisition of Arsenal mean we have more Nigerian players strut their talents at the Emirates Stadium the way Nwankwo Kanu shone at the Highbury Stadium between 1999 and 2004?

The worry is that Dangote's words could make Kroenke device another means to shut out the Nigerian business mogul.

But should this come to reality few Nigerian players could have the searchlight beam on them for obvious reason.

Some cynics might insist that current Nigerian players are not as gifted as the Kanus or Okochas but the present form of players like Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Wilfred Ndidi give cause for optimism and we could realistically see any of these players who were nominated for the African Football awards play for the Mikel Arteta coached side.

After Kanu left Arsenal for West Brom, Super Eagles fans never saw a full blooded Nigerian in an Arsenal jersey (Emmanuel Adebayor is Nigerian but represented Togo in international football) until Alex Iwobi, the nephew of the legendary Austin Jay Jay Okocha emerged.

Young England youth international Bukayo Saka is another Nigerian by blood but has not represented either country at the senior level so he is Nigerian and English alike.

Many well meaning Nigerians have urged the duo of Osimhen and Chukwueze to remain at both Lille and Villarreal for at least two more seasons.

Ndidi though is seen as a good  fit for the present and the next few months and year(s) may see the emergence of Nigeria's best at big clubs.

Who knows, another Nigerian or indeed African billionaire may be inspired to invest at another top-flight club and many more Nigerian stars sign up for big European sides.

Izuchukwu Okosi

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