English Premier League club Arsenal has agreed to a 6.8 million pound fee with Belgian club KAS Eupen to acquire Nigerian prospect Henry Onyekuru. Arsenal began negotiations with Eupen last week after it was made clear that several Premier League clubs, including Everton, Southampton, West Ham and West Bromwich were interested in the 19-year-old’s services. Onyekuru is reportedly an Arsenal fan and was eager to get this particular deal through. Arsenal fans hope that Onyekuru’s skills transfer to the Premier League. They are optimistic that he can use his extraordinary acceleration to its full potential in England.
Onyekuru has been with Eupen since 2015, when he was just 17 years old. In that rookie season, he helped the team achieve promotion to the top league in Belgium. He was excellent in the Belgian Jupiler League this year, getting 20 goals through the course of this league season. He had already turned down offers to switch teams within the league, shooting down Brugge and Anderlecht. Celtic FC in the Scottish league also tried to lure him in January, but Eupen couldn’t reach an agreement with Celtic on fees before the transfer window closed.
Onyekuru is not only going to be a rising star in England, but also one on the international stage, as Onyekuru made his debut with the Nigerian national team on June 1, coming in as a substitute in the second half of a Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo. Onyekuru made the roster for the first time in his career thanks to a hole produced by the absence of striker Olarenwaju Kayode. Onyekuru is the latest in a series of Nigerian prospects to break out and hopefully form the foundation of the next generation in Nigerian football, joining 21-year-old Alex Iwobi, 20-year-old Kelechi Iheanacho and 20-year-old Wilfred Ndidi.
Iheanacho 20, Iwobi 21, Onyekuru 19, Ndidi 20, Simon 21, Aina 20…If I was a true Nigerian I'd be getting pretty excited right about now!
— Ed Dove (@EddyDove) May 23, 2017