By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes| Premier League expert with experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Kelechi Nwakali will undergo an Arsenal medical on Friday and sign a four-year contract with the club, Football Insider sources understand.
The teenage midfielder has arrived in London to complete his move to the Gunners, which is part of a £4million double deal with countryman Samuel Chukwueze.
Arsene Wenger confirmed at his media conference on Friday morning that, as revealed by Football Insider at the start of January, the two youngsters are set to finalise Arsenal deals. “We will see if we can complete them,” said the manager.
Nwakali’s transfer had been held up while he waited for visa and work permit clearance.
But the 17-year-old has finally been granted documentation and boarded a British Airways flight on Thursday night to fly to London to finalise his move to Arsenal.
Nwakali has told the Nigerian Tribune that he will request the same No25 shirt worn by his hero, countryman and former Gunners striker Kanu, widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s greatest players.
However, that number belongs to Carl Jenkinson, whose second consecutive season-long loan at West Ham was cut short earlier this week after he tore his cruciate ligament. Jenkinson has returned to Arsenal to start his long road to recovery from an injury that will sideline him for nine to 12 months.
Nwakali said: “I am going to Arsenal to work and try to be the best I can. With God anything is possible, to work hard to justify my claim for first team football.”
Football Insider revealed last week that Arsenal’s double deal for Nwakali and and teenage countryman Samuel Chukwueze was ’99 per cent done’ after a £4million deal was accepted by the players’ academy in Nigeria. Chukwueze is expected to complete his move next month.
Arsenal were among a number of leading European clubs who scouted Nwakali and Chukwueze in last year’s Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
Nwakali, 17, was named as player of the tournament, while Chukwueze, 16, also delivered a series of promising displays for Nigeria.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Mathieu Debuchy will be allowed to choose between Aston Villa and Sunderland after Arsene Wenger agreed to allow him to go out on loan until the end of the season.