Wunderkind Watching; The Kinglike Kelechi Nwakali

The Golden Boy | Kelechi Nwakali
A Playmaking Genius | Kelechi Nwakali

Wunderkind Watching; The Kinglike Kelechi Nwakali



: a child prodigy; also :  one who succeeds in a competitive or highly difficult field or profession at an early age

: someone who achieves success or shows great talent at a young age

The transition from playground hero to global superstar is one that only a lucky few get to undergo & complete; child prodigies can be found in every crevice of the globe, yet one does not always get to witness a child prodigy excel at a competitive level and show signs of great promise at a tender age, as gaffers are often under pressure to get immediate results and predictably punt for more seasoned pro’s as they seek to attain some much needed job security. Football remains one of the greatest tests of talent in the modern age, a field where hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard and having talent alone is not enough to truly flourish in the craft. With measured development and sound off-field guidance, a wunderkind can develop into a world-class footballer with the gifts and aptitude to excel at the highest level; wunderkinder do not always become the true stars that their potential levels would have suggested they’d develop into, yet that will not hinder us from watching the best u/20 lads in the game and giving you an informative, enlightening and educational scouting report as our Talent Scout packs his binoculars and goes Wunderkind Watching.

Kelechi Nwakali


DoB: June 5th, 1998 (18)

PoB: Owerri, Imo State; Nigeria

Nationality: Nigerian

Caps & Goals: N/A {u/17 International}

Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker

Height: 1, 81m

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: Arsenal F.C (Transferring July 1st, 2016)

Club Jersey No: Not Yet Assigned

Development Nest: ASJ (Academy of Saint-Joseph) in Owerri

Honours: 2015 u17 FIFA World Cup Winner & 2015 u17 FIFA World Cup adidas Golden Ball Winner

Talent Scout Report

Mental: The advancements in modern football have necessitated an increased level of anticipation in players that play in more central areas, the high pressing nature of football today requires players think more proactively on & off the ball if they are to keep up with the pace. Kelechi s gifted with good positional play and that bodes well for him in modern football when coupled with is ability to react quickly to situations on and off the ball; a midfielder is often judged by their effect on the team, Nwakali best exemplifies his worth by always looking to be in the best possible position to affect the game positively for his team.

One of the early indicators of his high potential threshold is Kelechi’s impressively high level of composure on the field for such a young lad, the skipper of the Golden Eaglets side that beat Mali 3-0 to be crowned 2015 u17 FIFA World Cup Champions, Nwakali has exhibited great levels of maturity which has allowed all his other natural gifts to come to the fore far more naturally. A driven young man with big dreams and the will to go out and accomplish them, Kelechi came back from missing out on the 2013 u/17 FIFA World Cup winning squad, after being considered too young for that level, to skipper his class to the gold in a show of sheer willpower and desire to achieve greatness. His influence on his teammates is infusive and much of that is a product of the driven nature of the young lad, who seems to naturally inspire those around him to be the best version of themselves, while playing some pretty enterprising football while they are at it.

An extremely creative midfielder who seems to revel in his role of being the conductor of the orchestra, Kelechi can often change the complexion of the game with an inspired moment of brilliance and his match winning capabilities make him a key asset in modern football where games can turn in one through-pass on the transition after having absorbed pressure from the opposition in a tight game.

Despite being blessed with great positioning on and off the ball, the youngster will need to become more aware of the spaces he can exploit if he is to become a world-class player in the future, his game will only develop with time and more natural growth will occur as he plays more competitive football at a higher level; Kelechi will learn how to impose himself on games far more often by taking advantage of the spaces he can create. As with many gifted young footballers, Kelechi can sometimes seek to do too much too soon in an attacking move due to his propensity to make something positive happen for his team; maturity at the elite level will bring about improved decision-making on the field and that will make Nwakali even more of a threat on the field.

Physical: One of the key traits of importance in midfield today is a players ability to remain balanced on the field, a more balanced player can better ride challenges or adjust to make them in the timely manner demanded by the pace of the game today; Kelechi is well balanced for a lankier lad and his agility allows him to manoeuvre himself into key positions or work his way out of a tight situation and still find a way to benefit his team. Playing in the engine room is demanding for any footballer, the pressure is only increased on young players who have to adjust to the physicality & pace of the game at the elite level; Nwakali comes fitted with a great pair of lungs that allow him to play effectively on both sides of the ball without losing too much effectiveness as the game wares on.

Physicality and durability is great to possess in ones arsenal if one seeks to succeed at the elite level, but the sheer pace of football today requires a player to have some degree of  mobility to play in the engine room. Kelechi will need to work on improving his mobility and increasing the speed at which he can manoeuvre himself about the pitch to better influence proceedings.

Technical: One of the greatest facets of Kelechi’s game lies in his technical proficiency with the ball at his feet, a well versed dribbler that can beat his marker and create space for himself and his team, Nwakali combines his impressive dribbling mastery with a neat 1st touch that often sees him leaving his man for dead just as he brings the ball under his spell and afford himself that extra bit of time on the ball to execute what he sees.

A natural born conductor of play with the skills to orchestrate a sweet symphony, Kelechi Nwakali has the passing vision & range to link up play extremely well and ensure that he finds a way to make the team create chances on the offensive end; capable of playing short intricate passes or mixing it up with more direct diagonal passes, Kelechi has the ball distribution and retention abilities to succeed at the elite level and develop into a star for Arsenal in years to come. Kelechi also exhibits great technical mastery from set-pieces and that skill is one that puts him in good stead for the future as he adds another goal dimension with his penalty-kicks, corners and free-kicks.

The long-term view is that Kelechi will develop more into a deep-lying playmaker that conducts the attacks from deep while still providing a defensive foil for the more advanced players; if the lad is to succeed in that role, his tackling will need to be worked on as he could put his defenders in some danger by missing key tackles in dangerous positions.

For such a technically gifted young lad, Kelechi still struggles to get himself more goals from open play due to a lack of refinement when it comes to shooting from range and making the most of the good positions he finds himself in. The gifted youngster could also use some work on the training ground with regards to his finishing ability, something many Arsenal midfielders seem to need assistance with; an improvement can only come with dedicated work in training on getting into the best possible positions to get more goals. Overall, Kelechi Nwakali is a well-rounded midfielder with great potential and the opportunity to develop his game further at one of the best places to develop as a young player; the future looks bright for Nigeria with the plethora of gifted youngsters on the rise, Nwakali stands in good stead to become a pivotal cog in the Nigeria side that would be targeting glory at the historic 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

GSV Potential Meter: 4/5 Tsamaya’s


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s