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Is Award-winning Kelechi Nwakali Getting Back To His Best?

Thanks to Nigerian media outlets, it is now confirmed that former Golden Eaglets star Kelechi Nwakali was named Alcorcón's player of the month of April.

There had been some confusion about what he actually won. Some said it was the La Liga 2 player of the month. This was dispelled when it emerged another player from another club won that award. Six years after brushing Victor Osihmen to second place in winning the Golden Ball award at the 2015 U-17 FIFA world cup, Kelechi Nwakali has now taken baby steps towards achieving his full potential. He has now added to his individual awards this Alcorcon player of the month acknowledgment. Many fans can be forgiven for failing to celebrate this accolade. Both Osihmen and Chukwueze who shared individual awards with the Imo state born midfielder at that same cadet world cup are already playing at the highest level for both club and country. Whereas both players are chasing Champions League qualifications with their respective clubs, Nwakali is busy battling to avoid the drop to division 3 in Spain with Alcorcon. But I choose to see the positive side. Since joining the club based in the autonomous community of Madrid, Nwakali has played 15 games non-stop in his preferred attacking midfield position, scoring 4 goals while accumulating 2 yellow cards for his combativeness.

Before he joined the outfit, they were on a free-fall and neck deep in relegation waters. Nwakali’s entrance gave the club a lift as he brought the spark back to their midfield engine. For a club that was losing matches as if it was running out of fashion, Nwakali contributed in turbo charging them to 7 wins and 4 draws out of the 15 matches he played thus far. That equates to a 73% ratio of positive results – no greater indicator of Nwakali’s impact needs be sought. Had Alcorcon started the season with such a ratio and had sustained it, they would not have found themselves drenching in relegation waters. It is good to see Nwakali announce himself emphatically as he plays his quota in navigating them to safety. But more needs to be done. He needs to work harder and never give up until he starts playing at a level befitting the promise shown in his baby days. Again, being named as his club’s player of the month is not the same as winning the ballon d’or. But, being recognized by one’s teammates and fans of a club for painstaking performance is a big deal in its own right. So, well done Nwakali.

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