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Young Arsenal player gets first team shirt number

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He chose...wisely.

Nottingham Forest v Portsmouth - npower Championship
wrong shirt, but still awesome
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Back in January, we reported that Arsenal had signed Nigerian Under-17 captain Kelechi Nwakali, beating out Manchester City and Bayern Munich for the services of the young man. Which is exciting, but fairly routine - Arsenal often sign promising young players, after all, and like all young players, some work out and some don’t.

Between then and now, there’s been no real news of whether that signing was actually done; Nwakali was still with what this story calls his “nursery team”, he hadn’t said anything about joining the Arsenal squad yet and there was really no noise around this move at all. But today comes word that he’s actually left his team and signed an Arsenal contract and will join the team next month for training. No news yet on when that is - he’s still

Well, while nobody’s guaranteeing that Nwakali will work out at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has seen enough of him in training and youth games to hand the young man a first team squad number, which is a promising sign for a young player - and in this case, it was at the player’s request. The number he was assigned, number 25, was the number of one Nwankwo Kanu, one of the most awesome Arsenal players in modern history*.

Nwakali wanted to wear the number 25 because he loved Kanu, which is a great start - because, as Samuel Johnson never actually said, if you’re tired of Nwankwo Kanu, you’re tired of Arsenal.

*Awesome does not equal best but shut up he was awesome