Arsenal transfer news: Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze pictured with Nwankwo Kanu as they join club

The Under-17 stars follow in the footsteps of their Nigerian compatriot in joining the club

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The Independent Football

New Arsenal signings Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze have been pictured with Gunners and Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu as they sign for the club.

Kanu is the only ever Nigerian player to turn out for the North London club and the Gunners’ new signings will be hoping to emulate the striker’s success. The forward joined the club in 2009 and played 198 games over a five year period.

The former African Footballer of the Year scored 44 goals in his career at Arsenal and was part of the famous invincible side that went the 2003/04 season unbeaten.

Ranked number 13 by the Arsenal website in a list of their greatest ever players, the Nigerian striker is most remembered for a 17 minute hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 1999. From 2-0 down, it was this inspired performance that helped Arsenal go on to win the game after a stunning third goal.

Nwakali and Chukwueze join the club looking to acheive the same kind of achievements and they have started well in their careers having won the Under-17 World Cup with Nigeria in November last year. In response to the signings Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said: “We identified Nwakali as the player of the tournament, basically, and as a top player.”

Nwakili looks excited to be joining Arsenal and reports have said he has already chosen his shirt number. It is thought that the player will look to grab the number 25 shirt which was the one that Kanu himself wore during his time at the club.

To get the shirt he may well have to battle Carl Jenkinson, the current owner. The right back has only just rejoined Arsenal after a spell on loan at West Ham but has suffered a crucial ligament injury set to keep him out for the next six months.