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Exclusive: Huesca ace Nwakali reveals he speaks regularly with Arsenal icon Kanu

Huesca midfielder Kelechi Nwakali has revealed how two Nigeria legends have helped shape his young career.

The 22-year-old was signed by Arsenal in 2016, but work-permit issues meant he was unable to play for the Gunners over three seasons.

Nwakali instead spent time on loan in Holland and Portugal before eventually leaving Arsenal permanently for Huesca in 2019.

Former Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu played a role in Nwakali moving to the Emirates after winning the Golden Ball award in the 2015 U17 World Cup.

Kanu spent five-and-a-half years with the north London club, winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

And speaking exclusively to, Nwakali revealed how the Nigeria legend remains a valuable figure in his life.

"Kanu is more than a role model to me. He is like a father," Nwakali said.

"He calls me every time to know the situation of things and he has been doing these from my days in Nigeria playing in the youth teams. He is a big influence on my career."

Another important figure for Nwakali is his former Nigeria U17 coach Emmanuel Amuneke.

A former Nigeria international, Amuneke also played at Sporting Lisbon and Barcelona in his career.

And Nwakali revealed how the 49-year-old keeps in contact with him to this day.

"About coach Amuneke we talk often even after the promotion, he called to congratulate me and also encourage me," he said. "He is one person I respect so much and what ever I have achieved or becoming a better player today, he contributed so much to it.

"He taught me so many things growing up as a teenager and I'm still learning till date. I still appreciate Amuneke every day for what he did for my career."

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Francis Achi

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