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Nwakali’s dispute with Huesca goes for arbitration

By Guardian Nigeria
24 February 2022   |   3:46 am
Super Eagles’ midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, may have played his last game for Spanish second division side, Huesca.

Nigeria’s midfielder Kelechi Nwakali (L) fights for the ball with Guinea-Bissau’s forward Piqueti during the Group D Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 football match between Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria at Stade Roumde Adjia in Garoua on January 19, 2022. (Photo by Daniel BELOUMOU OLOMO / AFP)

Super Eagles’ midfielder, Kelechi Nwakali, may have played his last game for Spanish second division side, Huesca. The club recently suspended the midfielder and has been withholding his salary over alleged late return to the club after Nigeria’s exit from the Cameroun 2022 Africa Cup of Nations, according to football-espana.com.

The 23-year-old midfielder joined the Spanish club in 2019 from Arsenal, whom he had joined in 2016 from the Diamond Football Academy back home in Nigeria. He’s since made 33 appearances for Huesca and also spent time on loan at Alcorcon.

According to the report, Nwakali, who missed Nigeria’s final game of the African Cup of Nations through illness, was too ill to fly home to Spain after the Super Eagles’ elimination from the competition.

It said, “the doctor that treated him advised him not to fly and to keep testing until his symptoms cleared. Nwakali notified Huesca about this.

“On deadline day of the January window Ruben Garcia, Huesca’s sporting director, tried to send Nwakali out on loan for a fee of €80,000 and said he wouldn’t pay the player if he didn’t find a new club. No club was willing to pay the loan fee Huesca demanded, despite interest from second-tier clubs in both Spain and England.

“Nwakali has since returned to Spain and Huesca have opened up disciplinary proceedings against him, suspending him indefinitely and not allowing him to come to the training ground despite the fact he provided a doctor’s note explaining his lateness.

“Nwakali was offered a renewal at the beginning of this season but decided against accepting due to his poor relationship with the powers-that-be at the club. Huesca, however, were keen for him to renew and now want to sack him to avoid paying him for the rest of the season. He’s currently not being played by them.”

The report disclosed that Spanish Players’ Union (AFE) is now involved in the case, adding that they’ve accused Huesca of committing procedural breaches in the opening up of the case against Nwakali. “They claim the club have no grounds to sack him and their behaviour constitutes gross misconduct and discrimination against the player,” it added.

Nwakali is the subject of interest from several La Liga sides, including Espanyol, Granada, Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca, Osasuna, Elche, Deportivo Alaves and Getafe. Several clubs in the Premier League and the Championship are also monitoring him.

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