Henry Onyekuru to Arsenal: The Pros and Cons

The rumors have been flying for quite some days now but it eventually took flesh when according to Sky Sources, Arsenal have agreed a 6.8 million Pounds deal with Belgian club KAS Eupen for kid sensation Henry Onyekuru with personal terms yet to be reached. The 19 year old who is a product of the Aspire foundation recently made his ‘debut’ for the Super Eagles in a ‘practice’ game against Corsica and is in the squad to play Togo. Onyekuru’s invite to the Super Eagles is very refreshing especially as the duo of Iheanacho and Iwobi who led the forward lines in our last qualifiers have since suffered familiar fates and lost their places in their teams, hence the need for someone who is actually getting game time and scoring goals which the 19 year old fully fits the bill, Onyekuru is fast, has good movements and finishes quite well with 20 goals in the Jupiler league.

At first look, the deal to Arsenal sounds juicy especially as it sees a Nigerian player yet again featuring for a top side in Europe and will provide more opportunities to be seen and monitored by his Nigerian fans who are largely followers of the English league, but critically, is this the deal that the lad needs at this point especially with interest from the likes of Celtic, Club Brugges and Anderlecht? Arsenal recently gave their manager Arsene Wenger a new two year deal after a turbulent season and many are of the opinion that this may well be his final two years in charge of the gunners. The team despite winning 3 FA cup finals in the last four years are without a Premier League trophy in 13 years and miss out on the Champions league for the first time under the French man, the Wenger Out campaign hit its highest levels this season and it is rumored that the board have mandated the Manager to be more ruthless in his transfer dealings and in a season where Manchester City have already signed Bernado Silva, agreed a fee for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson and are strongly linked to the likes of Kyle Walker, in a window where United are being linked with names like Griezmann, Aubameyang, Perisic, is Henry Onyekuru the type of signing that will bring excitement to the Arsenal Fans? Will Arsene be patient enough with the young talent who clearly still has a lot to learn amidst pressure?

The demands of expectation at the Emirates will be at its peak this season, will Henry be able to thrive under that atmosphere where he will be expected to deliver week in, week out. Is he exactly a step up when compared to Giroud or Danny Welbeck, this is a major leap for the young lad and whilst many may be quick to point to how Arsene Wenger helped Kanu Nwankwo blossom, albeit under different circumstances, the times have changed, the Gunners have succinctly gone beyond their ‘building the young’ policy and have splashed the cash in recent years, instant success is required and how much of a chance will Henry be given to find his feet when the next year could actually be key to his development and staking his place in the Eagles as major competitions draw near. Much is left to be seen of this deal, will Henry Onyekuru end up as another Ahmed Musa or a Brown Ideye, only time will tell.

Ehis Ohunyon
Ehis Combs Ohunyon lives in Lagos but breathes Manchester. Realtor. Music and Football Writer, also on Radio at times.

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