Arsenal have confirmed that goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo has signed a new long-term contract with the club. Though Okonkwo’s contract with the club officially expired in June, the youngster has since re-committed himself to the club, with a reported length of three years. Okonkwo joins the Arsenal senior squad this term and will take the number 33, previously worn by the departing Maty Ryan.
Okonkwo joins a list of talented youngsters who have since put pen to paper under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta, with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, Folarian Balogun, Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe all signing long-term contracts with the club, with Kido Taylor-Hart’s renewal thought to be very close too.
Though the signing of Okonkwo is unlikely to receive the fanfare that Saka, Balogun and Smith Rowe received when they signed new long-term deals with the club, it is nevertheless an extremely important signing for the club.
In fact, Mikel Arteta is said to be so enamoured with Okonkwo, that he is considering making him third-choice back-up goalkeeper for the forthcoming season, although the possibility of a loan has also been mooted.
Another interesting point is that it’s not only Arsenal who have wanted to tie the youngster down to a new contract. A number of teams across Europe reportedly registering their admiration of the player and asking his agents to kept abreast of developments.
With goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson likely to be heading out on loan and a second-choice goalkeeper still yet to be signed, it’s not unrealistic to think that Okonkwo may be given his chance this season in the League Cup.
Okonkwo is not the only young goalkeeper that Arsenal have tried to retain, with Estonian goalkeeper Karl Jakob Hein also hugely admired at London Colney.
Despite finally committing Okonkwo to a new contract, Arsenal still remain in the market for a new goalkeeper, with Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale thought to be of interest, as the club look to boost their homegrown quota.