Kelechi Nwakali has been handed jersey no. 25 at Dutch top league side VVV Venlo after he personally requested for it as a tribute to his boyhood hero and ex-Arsenal star Nwankwo Kanu.
Officials also told SCORENigeria that the Nigeria U20 skipper has generously donated $240,000 to his academy, ASJ of Eziobodo in Owerri, Imo state.
Nwakali, who captained the Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets to a FIFA U17 World Cup triumph in Chile, two years ago, is on loan at VVV Venlo from Premier League side Arsenal.
Newsmen gathered that the Chile 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup Most Valuable Player, MVP, signed a long-term deal with Arsenal after attaining 18 years last year.
He was swiftly sent on loan to Dutch second division side MVV Maastricht.
But during the summer, Nwakali was again loaned out to VVV Venlo, which had current Super Eagles forward Ahmed Musa on their payroll a couple of seasons ago.
Report also has it that the jersey No.25 was given to him at his own request.
“Kelechi (Nwakali) has been given jersey No 25 at VVV Venlo,” the official informed Scorenigeria.com.ng “He personally requested for that number because that was the same jersey number Nwankwo Kanu wore at Arsenal.
“Kelechi (Nwakali) sees his Kanu as his hero and decided that he will wear same jersey number as a mark of respect for his hero.”
The 18-year-old midfielder also doled out the sum of $240, 000 to his former academy, ASJ, Eziobodo, before he departed for Amsterdam.
“It was a rare gesture from him and the entire academy were appreciative of his generosity and humility”, the official added.