Nwakali reveals what Arsenal icon, ex-Barca and Inter wingers told him before AFCON call-up
Published: January 09, 2022
 Nwakali reveals what Arsenal icon, ex-Barca and Inter wingers told him before AFCON call-up
SD Huesca midfielder Kelechi Nwakali has shared the advice he got from Arsenal icon Nwankwo Kanu, ex-Barcelona winger Emmanuel Amunike and former Inter Milan star Victor Obinna prior to receiving a call-up to the Super Eagles.

In search of a genuine playmaker for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria's caretaker manager Augustine Eguavoen modified the provisional roster for the tournament in Cameroon and handed a call-up to one of his favourite players, Nwakali.
 
Though the former Gunner can play multiple positions, the number 10 role could be a simple task for Nwakali - something he has perfected during his time with the Golden Eaglets, Flying Eagles and Olympic Team.

Nwakali has thanked the Super Eagles fans that believed in him and kept encouraging him before his invite to the national team and promised to perform at an optimum level if called upon by Eguavoen at the Africa Cup of Nations.

On what was at the back of his mind all this while that he was not invited to the Super Eagles, Nwakali told NFF TV : "Every Nigerian player wants to play for the Super Eagles, wants to represent Nigeria at a higher level but I'm one person that believes in time.

"When the time comes, whatever it is that is yours will come like I never played in the qualifiers and then my name was mentioned in the 28-man final list of players representing Nigeria.

"My message to the fans is that I'm going to represent Nigeria if the opportunity comes up to play, I will give my best in every game that I'm called upon to play."

The 2015 U17 World Cup Golden Ball winner added : "I will always make sure I represent Nigeria very well and then for all the people that have stood by me, encouraging me saying that you are not there yet in the Super Eagles but you just need to keep working until the time comes.

"I remember I spoke to some ex-Super Eagles players I am in contact with, sometimes I speak to Kanu, I speak to Obinna Nsofor, Emmanuel Amunike who is my coach.

"They said I'm not there but I'm going to be there if I keep working hard, if I keep believing in myself and that's what happened. I was just patient, waiting for the time and working."

Super Eagles number 25 for the 2021 AFCON Nwakali has yet to make his senior debut for Nigeria but played two training games against Atlético de Madrid and Liberia in 2018.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel
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