Arsenal are reportedly closing in on obtaining the services of Nigerian teenagers Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze during the January transfer window.
According to a report by London Evening Standard’s reliable journalist, James Olley, the Gunners are looking to add reinforcements in their youth attacking lines.
And amid interest from various other clubs including Bayern Munich and Barcelona, it seems Arsene Wenger will have his work cut out to get his hands on the duo.
Often playing in a partnership towards the forward lines, Nwakali and Chukwueze have been raising eyebrows following their standout performances at the Under-17 World Cup.
Nwakali was then awarded the Golden Ball trophy following his impressive showing in attacking midfield that led his Nigeria side to winning the final back in November.
And back in October, the 17-year-old revealed it was his ambition to move to a club that had success in their reach sooner rather than later.
I want to play for a side that’s going places, like Manchester City.
Now despite those comments reflecting positively in Arsenal’s title rivals, it’s has come to light that Arsene Wenger is very keen on developing Nwakali further.
And with the Gunners sitting pretty at the top of the table and still in Champions League football, the prospect of a move to the North London club is looking ever more attractive.
So two talented youngsters that you probably may not have heard of before rising up to stardom, sounds like a similar story for the supporters doesn’t it?
Here’s the catch though, because following the tightening of regulations by the FA, it is even harder to grant work permits for foreign players, as is being shown through the Mohamed Elneny deal.
If under the age of 21, the specific player must have featured for at least 75% of their countries matches just 12 months to a transfer request being made.
And despite the duo being regulars in the youth teams at Nigeria, it could look as if Wenger will want to make a specific appeal to the governing bodies to push this deal through.
Whether that means waiting out until they each turn 18, or making a case to the Exceptions Committee, one thing it shows us is that these players must be something special to go through all of the effort.
From a quick glance it’s clear to see what they both offer, and that is energy and passion for the game, because they’ve grown up facing some of the toughest conditions in football.
Whilst Nwakali scooped the top prize at the Under-17 World Cup, his teammate Chukwueze grabbed the Bronze Boot after scoring three goals and assisting just as many.
And although the boss is yet to comment on any speculation linking his side with a move, it is clear that something is in the running, with a handful of media outlets reporting this story.
What ensures this story is a little more legit though is that it’s been covered by James Olley, who rarely falls into the temptation of nonsense transfer gossip.
If the deal does go through, it will no doubt take a long time and will offer even more cover in an evergrowing youth academy that is nurturing players like Alex Iwobi and Jeff Renne-Adelaide.
The wingers both featured at the weekend as Arsenal overcame Sunderland 3-1, both of which put in a confident run-out as they continue to make progress from their success in the Under-21’s side.
Arsene Wenger is expected to announce Iwobi on the bench for tomorrow nights trip to Anfield, with star man Alexis Sanchez still missing through a hamstring injury.