By Tolulope Paul
Manchester City are favourites to sign Kelechi Nwakali, the standout player of the U17 World Cup, according to a report by ESPN.
The Nigerian midfielder ran the show for his side, driving them to a second successive triumph at that level and pipping teammate Victor Osimhen to the Golden Ball award.
Osimhen made headlines for his outstanding form in front of goal throughout the tournament, running away with the Golden Boot award after scoring ten goals, including the opener in the 2-0 win over Mali in the final. For Nwakali to still be credited as the best player at the competition despite Osimhen’s exploits shows how tremendously exciting this young talent is.
Naturally, the pair can expect to be hounded by big clubs now who are looking to recruit the next big thing but City have the lead on Nwakali and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them sign Osimhen either.
After all, they seem to have a monopoly when it comes to young African talent.
Nwakali’s namesake, Iheanacho, signed for City after winning the Golden Ball in the 2013 tournament and his older brother, Chidiebere, is already on the books of the Premier League giants.
Nwakali celebrating a goal
The 17-year-old midfielder trained with City in January but City declined to sign him for the £4 million quoted by his entourage. Now one would expect them to stump up the cash, especially seeing as other clubs are bound to declare their interest, perhaps triggering a bidding war. Nwakali can sign for a club when he turns 18 in June.