English Premier League side Arsenal are said to be one of three clubs eyeing Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze, six years after almost signing Nigerian Kelechi Nwakali to the club.
In January 2016, it was widely reported that Arsenal had convinced Chukwueze and Nwakali to reject offers from Manchester United and Bayern Munich and come to London.
Nwakali arrived at Arsenal first and Chukwueze was expected to join him soon after.
Wages had been agreed, medicals had been passed, but as the months wore on, there was still no sign of him at the Emirates, despite the capture of a fellow Nigeria youth international.
It was then reported that his club, Diamond Academy, had tried to get more money for the teenager and were thus stalling Arsenal, much to the Gunners’ anger. The deal then fell through despite the player wanting to join the EPL club.
Arsenal eventually paid €3.5 million for Nwakali (now valued at €700,000) and Chukwueze left for Villarreal for €500,000.
He is now worth around €20m and according to reports in England, Arsenal are interested in the 23-year-old again.
Chukwueze has three goals and four assists in 20 games this season.
His contract in Spain will last until 2024 and the Submarines want a fee of 40 million euros for him.
Meanwhile, football analyst Pete O’Rourke has tipped Chukwueze to be the perfect addition to the Aston Villa Premier League side’s attack if the Premier League club swoop for the Villarreal star.
The 23-year-old has been on the radar of Premier League clubs since joining Villareal’s senior team in 2018/19.
“When you get a new manager at a club they always look to sign players they know and work with before. Chukwueze would be one of those that Emery trusts for Villa,” O’Rourke told Football FanCast.
“Aston Villa will want to improve their attacking output and Chukwueze will certainly add to them. He is a difficult winger who scores and scores goals. He is someone who will also give pace to Villa’s attack.’
Recent reports suggest that Villa’s Spanish boss Unai Emery is keen to reunite with the Nigerian who shone at El Madrigal.
During Emery’s time at the Yellow Submarine, Chukwueze made 94 appearances, scoring an impressive 14 goals and providing 15 assists, so it’s no surprise the former Arsenal boss wants to take him to the Premier League.
Villa have won two Premier League games under Emery and the 51-year-old Spaniard would be looking to strengthen his squad in January, with a view to adding the Nigeria international to his squad.