Chidiebere Nwakali has not been as lucky at Manchester City as his compatriot, Kelechi Iheanacho, but he still remains one of the most talented and promising young Nigerian footballers coming through.
Discovered at the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup, Nwakali has shown huge potential and will get regular playing time at Malagueno in Spain’s lower divisions, where he has been sent on loan by Manchester City.
Name: Chidiebere Chijioke Nwakali
Position: Defensive midfield/Right Back/Center Back
Club: Malagueno (on loan from Manchester City)
Chidiebere Nwakali is an all-action box-to-box midfielder whose energy never seems to fade during games. Though still needs to improve on his concentration, Nwakali’s ball winning ability far supersedes his years and having spent time at Manchester City’s Elite Development Program before being sent on loan to Spain, he is expected to improve and get better with more game time.
Nwakali’s younger brother, Kelechi, is the present Nigeria U17 captain.
Nwakali, even though a natural holding midfielder, can play in a variety of positions across the back four and has often been deployed as either a right back or a center back. One of his key strengths remains his ball winning and retention ability.
Nwakali can keep possession of the ball if his team is looking at protecting a lead, and also has the energy to burst forward to create attacks, or to gazump opponents and win possession if they are under attack.
Nwakali is yet to play an awful lot of club games since joining Manchester City, but has made appearances for both the Nigeria U17 and U20 teams.
He has played over 30 games for both teams, and has scored two goals in competitive games.
After the 2013 U17 World Cup, Nwakali was linked with FC Porto and Tottenham Hotspur, but eventually joined Manchester City.
“I have confidence in my ability and I know I just need to keep working hard,” Nwakali told sl10.ng in May, 2015.