Leaving the glamour of the English Premier League for the lower division in Spain didn’t seem like the best move at the time, but Nigeria’s Kelechi Nwakali is happy he has found where he can call home
Huesca’s Kelechi Nwakali made his La Liga debut last weekend in his side’s impressive 1-1 draw at Villarreal, and the 22-year-old midfielder believes he can only go to greater heights from there.
Nwakali moved to Arsenal after captaining the Golden Eaglets to win the U17 World Cup in Chile in 2015. He was also named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, a testament to his eye-catching displays.
But the Nigerian international failed to make a single appearance for the Gunners during his three-year stay.
After several loan spells at MVV Maastricht, VVV-Venlo, and Porto B, he decided to team up with Huesca last summer, and he has no regrets with that decision.
“It was difficult for me to leave because they (Arsenal) wanted me to stay,” Nwakali told Tribalfootball.
“But at the same time, I needed to get a place where I can call my home, where I can continue to develop my game.”
Moving to lowly Huesca to reignite his career has turned out to be an inspired decision for the youngster.
Nwakali was part of Míchel’s side that gained promotion to La Liga last season after emerging as champions of the Segunda Division.
“What convinced me was after the club went to the second league,” Nwakali added.
“They had the main aim to gain promotion back, they never gave up the dream to come back to the highest league, the club was still fighting to come up, and promotion was achieved.
“It was a dream come through, and playing in La Liga will also help to develop my game, and I think I’m justified with that choice to play for Huesca.”
In Huesca’s 44-year-old manager, Miguel’ Michel’ Muñoz, Nwakali has found a coach keen to help the Nigerian international improve his game, and the young midfielder is grateful to be working with the former Spain youth international.
“I have a good relationship with the coach. He always talks to me after every training on where to improve and get better as a player.
“The position I play is comfortable for me. It shows more of my qualities, and I really appreciate him for helping me to adjust to his own philosophy of football.”
Nwakali will hope to make his full La Liga debut when the Azulgrana host fellow newly-promoted outfit Cadiz on Sunday.